|Mission type||Meteorology, Ionosphere, Climatology, and Space weather research|
|COSPAR ID||2006-011A, 2006-011B, 2006-011C, 2006-011D, 2006-011E, 2006-011F,|
|SATCAT no.||29047, 29048, 29049, 29050, 29051, 29052|
|Mission duration||Final: 14 years, 15 days|
|Manufacturer||Orbital Sciences Corporation|
|Launch mass||6 × 155 lb (70 kg)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||15 April 2006, 01:40UTC|
|Rocket||Minotaur I Flight 5|
|Launch site||Vandenberg SLC-8|
|End of mission|
|Deactivated||1 May 2020|
|Perigee altitude||500 km (310 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||500 km (310 mi)|
Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) is a program designed to provide advances in meteorology, ionospheric research, climatology, and space weather by using GPS satellites in conjunction with low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites. The term "COSMIC" may refer to either the organization itself or the constellation of 6 satellites (also known as COSMIC-1 and as FORMOSAT-3, 福爾摩沙衛星三號, in Taiwan). The constellation is a joint U.S.-Taiwanese project with major participants including the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the National Science Foundation, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), SRI International on the U.S. side and the National Space Organization (NSPO) on the Taiwanese side.
The total cost of the spacecraft and launch was US$100 million, 80% of which was being provided by NSPO, and the remainder by various U.S. agencies.
After experiencing several delays, the launch of the COSMIC satellite constellation atop a Minotaur launch vehicle from Vandenberg AFB occurred at 01:40 GMT, on 15 April 2006, despite heavy fog. The satellites, which orbit at an altitude of 500 miles, required over a year to move into the correct positions to provide full global coverage.
The COSMIC satellites are equipped with three primary forms of instrumentation for remote sensing, including:
All 6 microsatellites were launched on a single launch vehicle and deployed into a single parking orbit after launch. The spacecraft were then deployed into separate orbital planes through the use of precession due to the oblateness of the Earth and raised to a final orbital altitude over the course of several months. Scientific data were collected during the deployment process, along with experimental validation and calibration.
FM2's power system lost 50% of its output in February 2007, while FM3's solar panel also malfunctioned since August 2007. As a result, both satellites are operating in a degraded state, capable of returning data only during specific solar angles. The FM6 went out of control in September 2007, but control was restored by 16 November of the same year. FM3 had severe power problem since 6 July 2010. It is declared not functional since then. FM4, FM5, and FM6 have had battery aging problem.
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