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Apollo Telescope Mount Fact Sheet

Apollo Telescope Mount Fact Sheet

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Jun 24, 2011
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ublic Affairs Officeeorge C. Marshall Space Flight Centertional Aeronautics and Space Administrationarshall Space Flight Center,AlabamaPhone: 876-1102, 876 -1959APOLLO TELESCOPE MOUNT
Fact Sheet
March 1, 1968The Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) is being developed to give spacescientists a look at the sun's activity unencumbered by the fogging effectsof the earth's atmosphere.The National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to launch thefirst of its manned solar observatories, ATM-A, in 1971.The space agencyis joined by the scientific community and industry in developing the highlysophisticated satellite.Five principal investigators, all experts in astronomy and solar physics,have designed five experiments for the first ATM flight. The eight instrumentsused in these five ATM experiments will obtain measurements of the sun in theextreme ultreme ultraviolet and X-ray portions of the electromagnetic spectrumwhich cannot penetrate the earth's atmosphere and obtain pictures of the sun'scorona in the white light portion of the spectrum.Dr. George
Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned SpaceFlight, has said the ATM "provides
new great capability for a variety of solarand stellar scientific experiments" to be performed above the atmosphere, wherethe sun and stars can be clearly observed without being obscured by the earth's
The Apollo Telescope Mount,shown at top, is one ofthe principal payloads in the first Apollo Applications flights.Othermain elements are the Saturn
workshop, bottom, the airlock/multipledocking adapter and Apollo spacecraft.
atmosphere.The first ATM, one of the early Apollo Applications missions,is a forerunner of more advanced manned solar and stellar observatories whichwill provide an increased data gathering capability for astronomers.A proposed follow-on manned orbiting observatory will have a new set ofexperiment hardware of greater sophistication than the first one.Some of thesolar and stellar experiments already are under development.Ground based scientists "see" the sun in only the visible light, and portionsof the infrared and radio frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum.Instru-ments carried by unmanned spacecraft and balloons have pioneered in the fieldof spaceborne solar astronomy.The manned ATM offers opportunities not available with unmanned space
craft.The scientist-astronaut will perform operations requiring judgment toselect targets of scientific intere~t nd to point the telescopes. He will controlall ATM experiment operations in acquiring the data, including retrieval offilms.These operations can be augmented by radio contact with scientists on theground who can redirect the observing program based on ground data or verbaldescriptions from the astronaut crew.Where ATM fits into AAP SequenceThe Apollo Telescope Mount will be a part of a cluster of hardware in orbitwhich includes the orbital workshop and a manned Apollo command and servicemodule (CSM).Saturn
launch vehicles will place these payloads into an earthorbit of
statute miles.The orbiting cluster will be assembled in the following manner:

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