Naval Research Laboratory
Missions, Payloads and Launches


6/1/1998 - mile-shut
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (202) 767-2541



1972 - First manned space observatory placed on the Moon (Apollo-16)

1973 - NRL experiments flown aboard NASA's Skylab

1975 - X-ray detector developed for Apollo-Soyuz mission

1975 - NRL experiment flown aboard Apollo spacecraft during Apollo/Soyuz mission discovered the first X-ray pulsar beyond the Milky Way

1981 - NRL SOLWIND experiment reveals comet/Sun collision

1982 - NRL's SUSIM instrument flown aboard space shuttle

1983 - NRL (SURE) experiment flown aboard NASA's space shuttle (STS-7), the first to be carried on the Shuttle's GAS container with a motorized opening door. SURE observed ionospheric storms resulting from solar flares and eruptions

1983 - First successful launch of the the LiPS research satellites, which were developed from launch vehicle protective shields usually jettisoned in space (also see Space Technology Milestones)

1984 - NRL SOLWIND coronagraph observed mass ejections of plasma through the corona of the Sun into interplanetary space

1984 - NRL HIIS experiment flown aboard NASA's Space Shuttle

1985 - NRL SPARTAN X-ray astronomy experiment, first of the NASA Spartan series pioneerd by NRL, flown aboard space shuttle

1985 - NRL's Dr. John-David Bartoe, a payload specialist on Spacelab 2, became one of the first scientists to fly aboard the space shuttle and operate his own instruments- HRTS and SUSIM

1985 - NRL's SURE experiment flown on space shuttle (STS 51-G) to measure the natural radiation in the Earth's upper atmosphere at extreme ultraviolet wavelengths

1988 - Development of a far-ultraviolet imaging spectrograph, to be flown as part of U.S.Air Force Spartan-281 shuttle payload

1990 - Retrieval of HIIS experiment, a cosmic-ray detector, after almost six years in space on NASA's LDEF

1990 - Launch and operation of the SDIO-sponsored (LACE) satellite in support of two Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (then SDIO) experiments (also see Space Technology Milestones)

1991 - Use of NRL-developed array of high-resolution detectors to find traces of rare isotope Beryllium-7 on NASA's LDEF

1991 - Launch of OSSE, on NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, to measure the spectra and time variability of gamma rays

1991 - Launch, aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, of NRL's Ultraviolet Limb Imaging Experiment to measure UV radiation emitted by the upper atmosphere

1991 - Launch of NRL's Far-ultraviolet Cameras Experiment, aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, to measure and map the UV radiation environment in near-Earth space

1991 - Launch of NRL SUSIM on NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite

1992 - Discovery of a new belt of radiation trapped in the Earth's magnetic field by NRL and Russian scientists

1992 - Launch of NRL's HERCULES geolocating camera on July 13 aboard STS-53

1993 - Launch of NRL's SUSIM and MAS with NASA's ATLAS payload on April 8

1994 - Launch of the NRL-developed Deep Space Program Science Experiment (DSPSE), also known as Clementine 1, on January 25 as the first unmanned lunar mission in 25 years (also see Space Technology Milestones)

1994 - Launch of three NRL-developed sensors, SUSIM, MAS, and MAHRSI, aboard NASA's ATLAS-3 mission

1995 - Launch of NRL's far ultraviolet imaging spectrograph (FUVIS) experiment aboard the space shuttle Discovery, on February 3

1995 - Launch of NRL-developed HERCULES on space shuttle mission STS-70.

1995 - Launch of LASCO and EIT, aboard the European Space Agency/NASA

1996 - Launch of the TRIS experiment as a GAS payload onboard NASA space shuttle mission STS-76, which flew on March 21

1996 - Deployment of the TiPS experiment to research the gravity-gradient dynamics and survivability of a tethered system in space (also see Space Technology Milestones)

1997 - Second flight of MAHRSI experiment

1998 - Launch of POAM III experiment



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About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory is the Navy's full-spectrum corporate laboratory, conducting a broadly based multidisciplinary program of scientific research and advanced technological development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of nearly 2,800 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to meet the complex technological challenges of today's world. For more information, visit the NRL homepage or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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