Satellite, Ariel 2 (Replica)
This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.
When the Ariel 1 satellite launched on April 26, 1962, it represented a three-year effort to integrate British experiment packages with NASA spacecraft. Ariel 2 followed on March 27, 1964, carrying four experiments designed to study the ionosphere, a region in the upper atmosphere ionized by solar radiation. It was the first radio-astronomy satellite, listening for radio waves from the galaxy, as well as from natural earth events. Ariel 2 also measured levels of ozone and oxygen, the flow of micrometeorites, radiation, and the temperature and density of electrons in the ionosphere, furthering earlier work by Ariel 1 and U.S. Explorer missions. Powered by solar cells feeding nickel-cadmium batteries, Ariel 2 circled the earth every 101 minutes in elliptical orbit and operated until November 1964. It burned up reentering Earth’s atmosphere in November 1967. The British and American teams produced six successful satellites named after the magical spirit in William Shakespeare’s Tempest.
It is credited
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Transferred from NASA, A19751411000.
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Its dimensions are
H x W x D (overall): 231.1 x 154.9 x 231.1 cm (91 x 61 x 91 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.