International Designator 2012-006

2012-006A

LARES (LASER RELATIVITY SATELLITE), an Italian satellite, was launched from Kourou on 2012 February 13 at 10:00 UT. The satellite was launched by the new European launch vehicle Vega. Vega carried nine small research satellites for its qualification flight. LARES was the main payload and weighed 400 kg. LARES is covered with 92 laser retroreflectors that will be used to track the satellite via laser from stations on Earth. The objective of LARES is to refine the real effect of frame-dragging with an accuracy approaching 1 percent, ultimately, increasing understanding of physical properties of distant bodies of even greater mass such as black holes and neutron stars. LARES was designed at Sapienza University of Rome.

The initial orbital parameters were period = 114.75 minutes, apogee = 1,452.7 km, perigee = 1,435.2 km, inclination = 69.5° on 2012 Feb 20 at 21:44:39 UTC.

Launch Date: 2012 Feb 13 at 10:00:00 UTC
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Launch Vehicle: null

Source: NSSDC Master Catalog

2012-006B

ALMASAT-1 (ALMA MATER SATELLITE) was launched from Kourou on 2012 February 13 at 10:00 UT. The satellite was launched by the new European launch vehicle Vega and was its second largest payload. The technology microsatellite demonstrator was developed by the University of Bologne and weighed 12.5 kg. The 30-centimeter cube is a modular structure that can be utilized for technology demonstrations in Earth Orbit or Earth Observation Missions. ALMASAT-1 will have a short mission duration and will deorbit within 25 years after launch.

The initial orbital parameters were period = 102.52 minutes, apogee = 1,440.3 km, perigee = 315.5 km, inclination = 69.5° on 2012 Feb 20 at 11:17:55 UTC.

Launch Date: 2012 Feb 13 at 10:00:00 UTC
Launch Site: Kourou, French Guiana
Launch Vehicle: null

Source: NSSDC Master Catalog


Dr. T.S. Kelso [TS.Kelso@celestrak.com]
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