The national Aeronautics and Space Administration launched the Naval Research Laboratory's solar radiation (SOLRAD) measuring satellite at 6:58 p.
The national Aeronautics and Space Administration launched the Naval Research Laboratory's solar radiation (SOLRAD) measuring satellite at 6:58 p.m., July 8, 1971 from Wallops island, Va. Launch officials confirmed that the Scout Launch vehicle's four solid-fueled stages had burned for normal times and thrust. The 260-pound NRL satellite is designed to monitor continuously solar electromagnetic radiation (X-ray and ultraviolet) and to measure, on command, stellar radiation (X-ray) from other celestial sources. Information gained by the satellite is expected to contribute to a better understanding of the physical processes involved in solar flares and other solar activity. Knowledge of solar radiation and its effects on the terrestrial environment, together with continuous monitoring of the entire spectrum of solar radiation, should result in significant advance in the understanding of, and effective accommodation of human activities to weather conditions. Significant advance signs of solar activity can be used to predict periods of high probability of solar flares. This service will become a major contribution to communications, meteorology and manned space flights.