Encyclopedia Astronautica
Canyon


American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 7 launches, 1968.08.06 (Canyon 1) to 1977.05.23 (Canyon 7). The first large US signals intelligence satellite.

Placed into near-geosynchronous orbits. They were misidentified by some analysts as missile warning satellites.

Gross mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb).
First Launch: 1968.08.06.
Last Launch: 1977.05.23.
Number: 7 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • 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.
  • Bramscher, Robert G, "A Survey of Launch Vehicle Failures", Spaceflight, 1980, Volume 22, page 351.
  • McDowell, Jonathon, "US Reconnaissance Satellite Programs Part 2", Quest, 1995, Volume 4, Issue 4, page 49.
  • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 1998.. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC13 Atlas launch complex. Originally built in 1958 for the Atlas ballistic missile program, Complex 13 supported 51 Atlas and Atlas/Agena launches from 1958 to 1978. More...

Canyon Chronology


1968 August 6 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5501A / Agena D 2801.
  • Canyon 1 - . Payload: Canyon 1 / Agena D / OPS 2222. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 3334 . COSPAR: 1968-063A. Apogee: 39,860 km (24,760 mi). Perigee: 31,680 km (19,680 mi). Inclination: 9.9000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. First launch in a communications intelligence program operated by the USAF within the National Reconnaissance Office, on behalf of the National Security Agency. The first generation series, CANYON, was based on the Agena vehicle. The Agena D remained attached to the spacecraft. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean. Last known longitude (30 December 1968) 98.50 deg W drifting at 0.166 deg E per day.

1969 April 13 - . 02:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5502A / Agena D 2802.
  • Canyon 2 - . Payload: Canyon 2 / Agena D / OPS 3148. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 3889 . COSPAR: 1969-036A. Apogee: 39,270 km (24,400 mi). Perigee: 32,670 km (20,300 mi). Inclination: 9.9000 deg. Period: 1,445.00 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean. Last known longitude (31 December 1969) 99.24 deg W drifting at 2.246 deg W per day..

1970 September 1 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5203A / Agena D 2803.
  • Canyon 3 - . Payload: Canyon 3 / Agena D / OPS 7329. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 4510 . COSPAR: 1970-069A. Apogee: 39,855 km (24,764 mi). Perigee: 31,947 km (19,850 mi). Inclination: 10.3000 deg. Period: 1,441.90 min. Summary: Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean. Last known longitude (31 December 1970) 99.01 deg W drifting at 1.490 deg W per day..

1971 December 4 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5503A / Agena D 2804. FAILURE: First stage failure.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • AFP-827 / Canyon 4 - . Payload: Canyon 4 / Agena D. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. Decay Date: 1971-12-04 . COSPAR: F711204A.

1972 December 20 - . 22:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5204A / Agena D A 2805.
  • Canyon 5 - . Payload: Canyon Improved / OPS 9390. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 6317 . COSPAR: 1972-101A. Apogee: 40,728 km (25,307 mi). Perigee: 31,012 km (19,269 mi). Inclination: 9.7000 deg. Period: 1,440.40 min. Summary: First launch of improved ELINT satellite. In comparison to earlier Canyon ELINT satellites, Improved Canyon had a similar but heavier payload which separated from the Agena D final stage..

1975 June 18 - . 09:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5506A / Agena D A 2806.
  • Canyon 6 - . Payload: Canyon Improved / OPS 4966. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 7963 . COSPAR: 1975-055A. Apogee: 40,800 km (25,300 mi). Perigee: 30,200 km (18,700 mi). Inclination: 9.0000 deg. Period: 1,422.00 min.

1977 May 23 - . 18:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC13. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3A. LV Configuration: SLV-3A Agena D 5507A / Agena D A 2807.
  • Canyon 7 - . Payload: Canyon Improved / OPS 9751. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: Canyon. USAF Sat Cat: 10016 . COSPAR: 1977-038A. Apogee: 35,855 km (22,279 mi). Perigee: 35,679 km (22,169 mi). Inclination: 0.2000 deg. Period: 1,435.10 min.

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