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HIgh Precision PARallax COllecting Satellite, named as a Greek astronomer of the 2nd century before JC: Hipparkhos


Designation 20169 / 89062B
Launch date 8 Aug 1989
Country of origin Europe
Mission Scientific: astronomy
Perigee/Apogee 498/35889 km
Inclination 6.5°
Period 638.7 min
Launch vehicle Ariane V33

Was intended on geostationary 12°W slot but its Mage motor didn't work. The data it provided from Nov 1989 on was recalculated to match its orbital position.

Hipparcos observed 118274 stars with a precision between 0.0008 and 0.002 arcsec depending on the objects magnitude. 10000 double stars were observed including 7000 which were discovered by the satellite. It also discovered numerous variable stars.

End of life

Out of service 15 Aug 1993
Cause Stopped transmitting in June 1993

External resources


sat-index articles

Technical data


Prime contractor Matra Marconi Space
Mass at launch 1140 kg
Payload mass 200 kg
Diameter 2.5 m
Height 3 m
Stabilization 3-axis
DC power 380 W
Design lifetime 2.5 years

Schmidt telescope & photon detector

Telescope aperture 0.29 m
Field of view 0.9 x 0.9°
Frequency band visible: 375-750 nm
Telemetry/data S-band

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