Encyclopedia Astronautica

APL 1963-038C
Credit: USAF
APL 1964-083C
Credit: USAF
American earth magnetosphere satellite. 3 launches, 1963.09.28 (APL SN 39) to 1964.12.13 (APL SN 43). Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory built several satellites for the Air Force in the 1960's.

The missions of Satellite 1963-038C were to measure omnidirectional flux of protons and electrons at various energy levels, radiation effects on transistors, and the effectiveness of thermal coatings. The satellite was launched together with a classified Department of Defense spacecraft on September 28, 1963. Its orbit was apogee 1120 kilometers, perigee 1070 kilometers, inclination 88.9 degrees. The satellite weighed 62 kg; its body was in the shape of an 0.46 m x 0.25 m octagonal prism. It was powered by four solar blades and transmitted on 136, 162, and 324 mcs. The spacecraft was built for the Bureau of Naval Weapons. In 1967 it was still sending usable data from all systems.

Gross mass: 64 kg (141 lb).
First Launch: 1963.09.28.
Last Launch: 1964.12.13.
Number: 3 .

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Associated Countries
See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Thor Able-Star American orbital launch vehicle. As Thor Able but with enlarged Ablestar second stage with 2 1/2 x greater burn time. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • APL American manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, MD, Laurel, Maryland, USA. More...
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Aerospace Yearbook, 1966,

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