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Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish from the Aurora I and Owl Satellite records must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Biographical / Historical
Under contract Nonr-4964(1), dated February 5, 1965, with the Office of Naval Research, Rice University scientists designed and constructed two research satellites, eventually named “Aurora I” and “Owl.” Brian J. O’Brien, professor of Space Science, was the principal investigator, seconded by Ramon Trachta, payload manager, and Harold Killen and John W. Davis, payload engineers.
Magnetically oriented for auroral research primarily in the northern hemisphere, the 125-lb. Aurora I had telemetry to facilitate collaborative work into the phenomena of what is commonly called “northern lights” among world-wide groups particularly interested in input (particle flux)-output (auroral light) studies. The first combined space effort among the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, Aurora I was launched into orbit 2,000 miles from Earth on June 29, 1967, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Possible outcomes of Aurora’s data were attempts to control fusion reaction for the production of electrical power. Owl, the second satellite, was cancelled in 1968 because of delays and cost overruns.
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
Aurora I and Owl Satellite records, 1964-1968, UA 381, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University http://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/1066 Accessed September 28, 2023.