Encyclopedia Astronautica
Courier



courier.jpg
Courier
Credit: NASA
American communications technology satellite. 2 launches, 1960.08.18 (Courier 1A) and 1960.10.04 (Courier 1B). Experimental communications.

Gross mass: 227 kg (500 lb).
First Launch: 1960.08.18.
Last Launch: 1960.10.04.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

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
  • US Army American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. US Army, 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.

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 LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...

Courier Chronology


1960 August 18 - . 19:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 262 AB004?. FAILURE: Exploded 2.5 minutes after launch.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Courier 1A - . Mass: 225 kg (496 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Courier. Decay Date: 1960-08-18 . COSPAR: F600818A. Summary: Experimental communications sattelite..

1960 October 4 - . 17:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 293 AB005.
  • Courier 1B - . Mass: 230 kg (500 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Courier. USAF Sat Cat: 58 . COSPAR: 1960-Nu-1. Apogee: 1,214 km (754 mi). Perigee: 967 km (600 mi). Inclination: 28.3000 deg. Period: 107.10 min. Summary: Experimental communications. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

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