The scientific tourist #135 — AOSO

Another fun / geeky shot from the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia — an engineering model of AOSO:


AOSO (Advanced Orbiting Solar Observatory) would have been a scaled-up counterpart of the Orbiting Solar Observatory spacecraft in the early 1960’s. It was supposed to consist of a series of polar-orbiting satellites to monitor the Sun and near-solar environment over a wide spectrum — from X-rays to visual light. While the AOSO program was cancelled in 1965 due to funding constraints, all was not lost — many of the instruments selected for the spacecraft were developed for and flown on the Skylab telescope mount, which flew in 1973.

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