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LDEF space environments overviewThe Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) was launched into an Earth orbit during a period of minimum solar activity. It was retrieved almost 6 years later during a period of near maximum solar activity. In flight, the LDEF was passively stabilized in three axes and it flew in a near circular orbit having an inclination of 28.5 degs and an initial altitude of approx. 257 nautical miles. When the LDEF was retrieved, the orbit had decayed to an altitude of approx. 180 nautical miles. Specifically, the LDEF flew with one surface always facing the trailing direction, one surface facing Earth, and one surface facing into space. These facts made the LDEF an ideal platform to expose experiments to study the space environments and the effects of these environments on spacecraft materials and systems. An overview is provided of the specific space environments to which the LDEF experiments were exposed. The specific features are also pointed out of the LDEF that allow the effects of different environments to be isolated.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kinard, William H.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: First LDEF Post-Retrieval Symposium Abstracts
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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