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Biosatellite program

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Biosatellite
Biosat3.jpg
Biosatellite 3
Manufacturer General Electric
Country of origin United States
Operator NASA
Applications Bioscience
Specifications
Design life 8-30 days
Regime Low Earth orbit
Production
Status Retired
Launched 3
First launch Biosatellite 1
15 February 1967
Last launch Biosatellite 3
29 June 1969

NASA launched three satellites named Biosatellite 1, 2 and 3 between 1966 and 1969.

NASA's Biosatellite program was a series of three satellites to assess the effects of spaceflight, especially radiation and weightlessness, on living organisms. Each was designed to reenter and be recovered at the end of its mission.

Its primary goal was that it intended to determine effects of space environment, particularly weightlessness, on life processes at three levels of organization: basic biochemistry of the cell; structure of growth of cells and tissues; and growth and form of entire plants and animals.[1]

Biosatellite 1[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

The Biosatellite 1, also known as abbreviated Biosat 1 and as Biosatellite A, was a first artificial satellite unmanned U.S. belonging to Biosatellite program for biological research. It was released on December 14, 1966 by a rocket Delta G from Launch Complex 17A of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.[2] The Biosatellite 1 was the first series Biosatellite satellites. It was released in an initial orbit of 296 km perigee 309 km apogee and 33.5 degrees of orbital inclination, with period 90.5 minutes.

The Biosatellite 1 was carrying several specimens for the study of the effects of the space environment on biological processes. The capsule was returning to land separated from the vehicle properly, but its rocket did not work, leaving it stranded in a slowly decaying orbit. It re-entered and disintregrated on February 15, 1967.

Biosatellite 2[edit | hide | edit source]

The Biosatellite 2, also known as abbreviated as Biosat 2 and as Biosatellite B, was a second artificial satellite unmanned U.S. belonging to Biosatellite program for biological research. It was released on September 7, 1967 by a rocket Delta G Launch Complex 17B of the Air Force from Cape Canaveral station.[3]

The Biosatellite 2 carried thirteen biological experiments involving insects, frog eggs, plants and microorganisms. The capsule returned ahead of time because of the tropical storm threat in the recovery area and communication problems between the capsule and ground stations. The primary objective of this mission was to measure organisms' sensitivity to ionizing radiation in microgravity compared to that on Earth. An artificial source of radiation was supplied to a group of experiments mounted in the forward part of the spacecraft.[4]

Biosatellite 3[edit | hide | edit source]

The Biosatellite 3, also known as abbreviated Biosat 3 and as Biosatellite D, was a third artificial satellite unmanned U.S. belonging to Biosatellite program for biological research.

The intent had been to fly a 6 kg male pig-tailed monkey (Macaca nemestrina) named Bonnie in Earth-orbit for 30 days. However, after only 8.8 days in orbit, the mission was terminated because of the subject's deteriorating health. High development costs were a strong incentive for maximising the scientific return from the mission. Because of this, the scientific goals had become exceedingly ambitious over time, and a great many measurements were conducted on the single research subject flown. Although the mission was highly successful from a technical standpoint, the science results were apparently compromised.

Despite the seeming failure of the mission's scientific agenda, Biosatellite 3 was influential in shaping the life sciences flight experiment program, pointing to the need for centralised management, realistic goals and substantial pre-flight experiment verification testing. The mission objective was to investigate the effect of space flight on brain states, behavioural performance, cardiovascular status, fluid and electrolyte balance, and metabolic state.[5] Biological capsule reentered in 7 September 1969.

Table[edit | hide | edit source]

Satellite Rocket Launch date Launch site Decay date COSPAR ID SATCAT
Biosatellite 1 Delta G 14 December 1966 Cape Canaveral LC-17B 15 February 1967 1966-114A 02632
Biosatellite 2 Delta G 7 September 1967 Cape Canaveral LC-17B 4 October 1967 1967-083B 09236
Biosatellite 3 Delta N 29 June 1969 Cape Canaveral LC-17A 7 July 1969 1969-056A 04000

Gallery[edit | hide | edit source]

References[edit | hide | edit source]

  1. Rosenthal, Alfred. "A record of NASA space missions since 1958". NASA. NASA Technical Reports Server. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  2. Biosatellite. Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2016-16-05.
  3. Biosat 1, 2, 3 (Bios 1, 2, 3). Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2016-16-05.
  4. Biosatellite 2. Mark Wade, Astronautix. Accessed 14 June 2018.
  5. "Mission information: Biosatellite III". NASA. Retrieved 25 May 2016.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External links[edit | hide | edit source]

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