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EXPRESS (German)

EXPeriment REentry Space System


Designation none assigned
Launch date 15 Jan 1995 at 13:45 UT
Country of origin Germany
Mission Experimentation of materials
Perigee/Apogee 110/250 km
Inclination 33°
Launch vehicle Mu 3S 2
Launch site Kagoshima
Mass at launch 765 kg

The payload used a Russian-built reentry vehicle and the launch was carried out by the Japanese ISAS space agency. It was due to land in the Australian desert after a five day flight, but the TVC (thrust vector control) on the second stage malfunctioned 103 seconds after launch, and the fourth stage and payload entered a 110 x 250 km x 33 deg orbit, instead of the intended 270 x 380 km one. This failure was probably due to second-stage attitude-control oscillations that exhausted attitude-control fuel. The reentry capsule decay in Ghana whereas the service module reentered over the Pacific on its second orbit of the Earth.

The reentry vehicle carried two CATEX materials processing ovens, and three German (CETEX, PYREX and RAFLEX) and one Japanese (RTEX) heat shield material reentry experiments.

End of life

Decay 15 Jan 1995

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