METEOR / Conestoga

Tue, 08 Aug 1995 22:13:31 EDT

== Forwarded Mail ==

MAIL FROM PMQ  TUESDAY  08/08/95  10:08:50 P.M.

To:       millers@fdacd,
cc:       PMQ@NIHCU
From:     PMQ@NIHCU
Date:     Tue, 08 Aug 1995  22:08:31 EDT
Subject:  METEOR / Conestoga

The METEOR (Multiple Experiment Transporter to Earth Orbit and
Return) satellite is currently scheduled to be launched from
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility this Saturday, Aug 12, between
5:00pm and 8:00pm EDT (2100-2400 hrs UT on 8/12). This will be
the first flight of the METEOR spacecraft, the maiden voyage of
the Conestoga launch vehicle, and the first orbital flight from
Wallops Island since 1985.

EER Systems of Vienna, Virginia developed METEOR/Conestoga (with
partial funding by NASA) and has a company-owned launch pad on
Wallops Island. NASA and several private companies are customers
on this commercial flight, and a total of 14 experiments are
being carried on METEOR-1.

METEOR was developed under NASA's now-defunct Commercial Experiment
Transporter program, "COMET". It consists of a service module (built
by CTA Inc. of Rockville, Md) which will remain in orbit for approx.
one year, and a recovery module (built by Space Industries of
Houston, Tx) that will be deorbited after 20-30 days.

The Conestoga rocket stands 50 feet tall with a first stage
consisting of a cluster of seven Thiokol Castor-4 solid rocket
motors which will burn in a 4 then 2 then 1 (core) sequence. A
Star-48 upper stage should then toss the METEOR-1 satellite into
a 250 mi circular orbit (40 deg inclination). The Conestoga has the
capacity to lift self-contained satellites with weights up to 1000
kg into low earth orbit.

Wallops Island is located near the Md/Va border on the Delmarva
Peninsula (75.3 deg West, 37.9 deg North). More information,
including possible viewing sites and scheduling changes, can be
obtained from Wallops Launch Status Recording (804)824-2050.
Hopefully this launch marks the birth of a commercial spaceport at

Thanks go to EER's Mike Bryant and NASA's Betty Flowers and Keith
Koehler for this information.

Steve Miller
(301)770-5617 evening   /  (301)594-5029 day