National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Explorer 35
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Explorer 35
Explorer 35 Mission to Earth's Moon

Mission Type: Orbiter
Launch Vehicle: Thor-Delta E-1 (no. 50 / Thor no. 488 / DSV-3E)
Launch Site: Eastern Test Range / launch complex 17B, Cape Canaveral, USA
NASA Center: Goddard Space Flight Center
Spacecraft Mass: 104.3 kg at launch
Spacecraft Instruments: 1) magnetometers; 2) thermal ion detector; 3) ion chambers and Geiger tubes; 4) Geiger tubes and p-on-n junction; 5) micrometeoroid detector; and 6) Faraday cup
Deep Space Chronicle: A Chronology of Deep Space and Planetary Probes 1958-2000, Monographs in Aerospace History No. 24, by Asif A. Siddiqi

National Space Science Data Center,

Solar System Log by Andrew Wilson, published 1987 by Jane's Publishing Co. Ltd.

Explorer 35 was designed to study interplanetary space phenomena-particularly the solar wind, the interplanetary magnetic field, dust distribution near the Moon, the lunar gravitational field, the weak lunar ionosphere, and the radiation environment.

The spacecraft left Earth on a direct ascent trajectory and entered lunar orbit on 21 July 1967. Initial orbital parameters were 800 x 7,692 kilometers at 147° inclination.

The spacecraft, similar to Explorer 33, also in lunar orbit, found that the Moon has no magnetosphere, that solar wind particles impact directly against the surface, and that the Moon creates a cavity in the solar wind stream.

After six years of successful operation, the satellite was turned off on 24 June 1973. Explorer 35 was launched by the 50th Thor-Delta booster, of which only three had failed, giving the booster a success rating of 94 percent.

Key Dates
19 Jul 1967:  Launch (14:19:02 UT)
24 Jun 1973:  Spacecraft Shutdown
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Explorer 35 Facts Explorer 35 was launched on the 50th Thor-Delta booster (right), a highly successful launch vehicle of the era.

The spacecraft found the Moon creates a cavity in the solar wind.

The spacecraft was shut down after six years of successful operation.
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2011