Encyclopedia Astronautica
DMSP Block 5A


American earth weather satellite. 3 launches, 1970.02.11 (DMSP-Block-5A F1) to 1971.02.17 (DMSP Block 5A F3). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.

AKA: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program.
Gross mass: 195 kg (429 lb).
First Launch: 1970.02.11.
Last Launch: 1971.02.17.
Number: 3 .

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 Burner 2 American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-18A + 1 x Star 37B More...
  • Thor Burner American orbital launch vehicle. Thor DM-18A with 'Burner' upper stage solid rocket packages used for launch of classified payloads. More...

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

Associated Programs
  • DMSP The first CORONA photos in August 1960 convinced authorities that knowledge of cloud cover over Russia was necessary and could be obtained only via satellite. Since the civilian TIROS program could not yet meet the requirement, the Director, National Reconnaissance Office authorized an 'interim' effort - the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. The satellite series continued to be updated and served into the 21st Century. 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.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC10W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a launch emplacement in 1965. More...

DMSP Block 5A Chronology


1970 February 11 - . 08:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 287.
  • DMSP-Block-5A F1 - . Payload: DAPP 1524 / OPS 0054. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 4331 . COSPAR: 1970-012A. Apogee: 840 km (520 mi). Perigee: 749 km (465 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1970 September 3 - . 08:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 288.
  • DMSP-Block-5A F2 - . Payload: DAPP 2525 / OPS 0203. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 4512 . COSPAR: 1970-070A. Apogee: 837 km (520 mi). Perigee: 739 km (459 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 100.60 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1971 February 17 - . 03:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 249.
  • DMSP-Block-5A F3 - . Payload: DAPP 3526 / OPS 5268. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 4953 . COSPAR: 1971-012A. Apogee: 799 km (496 mi). Perigee: 741 km (460 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 100.20 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

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