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SWAS (Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite)

SWAS (Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite)
A NASA satellite, launched in December 1988, that was equipped with a 0.6-m telescope for making observations in the 490–550 GHz submillimeter range, and also with an acousto-optical spectrometer. It enabled studies of the cooling of molecular cloud cores – the sites of star formation in the Galaxy – by measuring spectral lines of molecular oxygen and water. SWAS was the fourth SMEX (Small Explorer) mission.

launch date Dec. 5, 1998
vehicle Pegasus XL
site Vandenberg Air Force Base
orbit 637 × 651 km × 69.9°
mass 288 kg

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