Alouette 2
Mission typeIonospheric research
COSPAR ID1965-098A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.1804
Mission durationFinal: 9 years and 8 months
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerRCA Victor
Launch mass146.5 kilograms (323 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date29 November 1965, 04:48 (1965-11-29UTC04:48Z) UTC
RocketThor SLV-2 Agena-B
Launch siteVandenberg LC-75-1-1
End of mission
Deactivated1 August 1975 (1975-09)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeMedium Earth
Perigee altitude508 kilometres (316 mi)
Apogee altitude2,652 kilometres (1,648 mi)
Inclination79.8 degrees
Period117.61 minutes
Epoch5 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.[2]

RCA Victor of Montreal, Quebec, was the prime contractor; Havilland Aircraft of Toronto, Ontario, served as associate contractor.[3]

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 2022, the upper stage remains in orbit.[4]

The satellite itself became a derelict after August 1975. It too remains in earth orbit As of 2022. [5]


  1. ^ Peat, Chris (5 December 2013). "ALOUETTE 2 - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  2. ^ "The ISIS Satellite Program". 1996-07-19. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  3. ^ "The ISIS Satellite Program". 1996-07-19. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  4. ^ "Alouette 2 Rocket - Satellite Information". satellite database. Heavens-Above. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  5. ^ "Alouette 2 - Satellite Information". satellite database. Heavens-Above. Retrieved 2013-09-25.