SAMPEX, the Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer, was successfully launched by a Scout rocket on July 3, 1992. It is investigating the composition of local interstellar matter and solar material and the transport of magnetospheric charged particles into the Earth’s atmosphere.
SAMPEX is a momentum-biased, sun-pointed spacecraft that maintains the experiment-view axis in a zenith direction as much as possible, especially while traversing the polar regions of the Earth. It points its solar array at the Sun by aiming the momentum vector toward the Sun and rotating the spacecraft one revolution per orbit about the Sun/spacecraft axis.
The Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX) satellite was launched in July 1992 into a low earth orbit at an altitude of 520 by 670 km and 82 degrees inclination. The satellite far exceeded its expected three-year lifetime. It has primarily operated in a three-axis stabilized mode but has also been spun for limited periods. The satellite carries four instruments designed to measure the radiation environment of the Earth’s magnetosphere.
SAMPEX was an international collaboration between NASA of the United States and Germany. It was part of the Small Explorer program started in 1989
SAMPEX science mission ended on June 30, 2004.