Alouette 2

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Not to be confused with the helicopter Alouette II.
Alouette 2
Mission type Ionospheric research
Operator DRDC
COSPAR ID 1965-098A
SATCAT № 1804
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer RCA Victor
Launch mass 146.5 kilograms (323 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 29 November 1965, 04:48 (1965-11-29UTC04:48Z) UTC
Rocket Thor SLV-2 Agena-B
Launch site Vandenberg LC-75-1-1
End of mission
Deactivated 1 August 1975 (1975-09)
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Medium Earth
Perigee 508 kilometres (316 mi)
Apogee 2,652 kilometres (1,648 mi)
Inclination 79.8 degrees
Period 117.61 minutes
Epoch 5 December 2013, 13:24:44 UTC[1]

Alouette 2 was a Canadian research satellite launched at 04:48 UTC on November 29, 1965 by a Thor Agena rocket with Explorer 31 from the Western test range at Vandenberg AFB in California. It was (like its predecessor Alouette 1, and Explorer 31) designed to explore the ionosphere.


The name "Alouette" came from the French for "skylark" and from the title of a popular French-Canadian folk song. Alouette 2 was also known as ISIS-X since it was the first in a series of ISIS satellites: International Satellites for Ionospheric Studies. The next one was called ISIS-I.

The Alouette 2 was built up from the identical backup satellite to Alouette 1. It had many more experiments and more sophisticated support systems than the earlier satellite. It lasted for 10 years, being terminated on August 1, 1975.[citation needed]

RCA Victor of Montreal was the prime contractor.[citation needed]

Post mission

After the Alouette 2 was launched, the upper stage of the rocket used to launch the satellite became a derelict object that would continue to orbit Earth for many years. As of September 2013, the upper stage remains in orbit.[2]

The satellite itself became a derelict after August 1975. It too remains a derelict in Earth orbit as of September 2013.[3]


  1. Peat, Chris (5 December 2013). "ALOUETTE 2 - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  2. "Alouette 2 Rocket - Satellite Information". satellite database. Heavens-Above. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  3. "Alouette 2 - Satellite Information". satellite database. Heavens-Above. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 

External links