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Also called P89-1


Designation 22638 / 93026A
Launch date 23 Apr 1993
Country of origin United States
Operator LANL
Mission Scientific: EUV astronomy
Perigee/Apogee 800 km
Inclination 70°
Launch vehicle Pegasus #4

Cost: $17 million

Still operational in Aug 2003.

External resources


sat-index articles

When Alexis was launched, a bracket that had been damaged during ground testing broke loose, leaving one of the satellite's four solar panels dangling by only its electrical cabling and throwing off the carefully determined balance of the spin-stabilized spacecraft. When the Alexis team restored contact with the satellite more than two months after launch they discovered that not only did it have a serious wobble, but the spacecraft's magnetometer, which was intended to determine the satellite's orientation by sensing Earth's magnetic field lines, had broken when the solar paddle came loose. The Los Alamos science team and the manufacturers came up with a way to determine the satellite's orientation in May 1994. Since then it has been quite successful.

Alexis was designed to monitored the sky in three narrow energy bands between 0.06 and 0.1 keV; it also carried the Blackbeard experiment to study ionospheric effects on radio transmissions.

Technical data


Prime contractor Aero Astro Inc
Mass at launch 115 kg
Mass in orbit  
Dimension 1 m high x 0.6 m diameter
Solar array  
Stabilization spin stabilized (2 rpm)
DC power 50 W
Design lifetime 1 year

S-band telemetry & data (2260.5 MHz)

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