MSX Testbed

R.B. Minton (
Fri, 3 May 1996 13:45:04 -0600

Agreed - the MSX is a neat spacecraft.  I too read the MSX homepage and the 
latest Av Week.  These sources say it is about 5 by 5 by 15 feet in size; and
judging from the photos, the solar panels will double or triple the projected
area.  It's interesting that it carries no on-board propellants so it's orbit
should be pretty predictable.  It also carries flashlamps to illuminate nearby
debris - lucky be the observer who sees or photographs this.  It has enough
sensors at enough wavelengths to observe small, dark, non-radar reflective
debris and attending gas contaminants (H, OH) via UV emissions (like comets!).
Also interesting is the homepage wording of part of it's mission "supporting 
Air Force space-based space surveillance missions".  This means while AMOS &
Starfire Observatory instruments are looking up, their black satellites are 
looking down and sideways (at other space-based objects of interest such as 
__________________ (you fill-in the blanks).  Happy observing & clear skies.

R. B. Minton
Computer Specialist, V A Medical Center
Work:  (303) 393-2881   FAX:  (303) 393-4671
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