Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: US Navy
American communications technology satellite. 2 launches, 1961.02.22 (Lofti) and 1963.06.15 (Lofti 2A). The Low Frequency Trans-Ionospheric (LOFTI) satellites were produced as a cooperative effort with the Radio Division.

Launched in 1961 and 1962, LOFTI attempted to determine whether very low frequency (VLF) energy could penetrate through the ionosphere and be received by submerged submarines. The satellites demonstrated that under many ionospheric conditions VLF signals were extremely attenuated and could not be detected, making them unreliable for submarine communication.

Gross mass: 26 kg (57 lb).
First Launch: 1961.02.22.
Last Launch: 1963.06.15.
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...
  • Thor Agena D American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-21 + 1 x Agena D More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • 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.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 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...
  • 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 SLC2E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. 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...

Lofti Chronology

1961 February 22 - . 03:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Able-Star. LV Configuration: Thor Ablestar 313 AB007.
  • Lofti - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: Lofti. COSPAR: 1961-Eta-xx.

1963 June 15 - . 14:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D. LV Configuration: Thor Agena D 378 / Agena D 2353.
  • Lofti 2A - . Mass: 26 kg (57 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Lofti. Decay Date: 1963-07-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 601 . COSPAR: 1963-021B. Apogee: 876 km (544 mi). Perigee: 170 km (100 mi). Inclination: 69.9000 deg. Period: 95.10 min. Summary: VLF experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

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