Encyclopedia Astronautica
NRL ELINT


American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 6 launches, 1962.12.13 (Black Sphere) to 1969.09.30 (Surcal). NRL ELINT satellite.

Gross mass: 34 kg (74 lb).
First Launch: 1962.12.13.
Last Launch: 1969.09.30.
Number: 6 .

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 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...

Associated Programs
  • ELINT Various US electronic intelligence satellites, most of them from the Naval Research Laboratory, were orbited in the 1960's and still remain classified. 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 SLC1E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1967. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC1W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2E Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

NRL ELINT Chronology


1962 December 13 - . 04:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D. LV Configuration: Thor Agena D 365 / Agena D 2351.
  • Black Sphere - . Payload: NRL PL120. Mass: 23 kg (50 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; USN. Program: ELINT. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NRL ELINT. Decay Date: 1967-02-09 . USAF Sat Cat: 502 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Tau-1. Apogee: 2,385 km (1,481 mi). Perigee: 230 km (140 mi). Inclination: 70.3000 deg. Period: 111.80 min. Summary: Identified by McDowell as probable NRL ELINT satellite..
  • Calsphere 1A - . Payload: NRL ELINT. Mass: 23 kg (50 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; USN. Program: ELINT. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NRL ELINT. Decay Date: 1967-02-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 513 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Tau-5. Apogee: 2,069 km (1,285 mi). Perigee: 228 km (141 mi). Inclination: 70.3000 deg. Period: 108.40 min. Summary: Identified by McDowell as probable NRL ELINT satellite..

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.
  • USN satellite - . Payload: NRL PL130?. Mass: 35 kg (77 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: ELINT. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NRL ELINT. Decay Date: 1963-07-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 598 . COSPAR: 1963-021E. Apogee: 859 km (533 mi). Perigee: 170 km (100 mi). Inclination: 69.9000 deg. Period: 94.90 min. Summary: Identified by McDowell as probable NRL ELINT satellite..

1964 January 11 - . 20:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1E. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D SLV-2. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2 Agena D 390 / Agena D 2354.
  • Unidentified - . Payload: NRL PL135. Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: ELINT. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NRL ELINT. USAF Sat Cat: 731 . COSPAR: 1964-001E. Apogee: 919 km (571 mi). Perigee: 902 km (560 mi). Inclination: 69.9000 deg. Period: 103.20 min. Summary: Identified by McDowell as probable NRL ELINT satellite..

1965 March 9 - . 18:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena D SLV-2. LV Configuration: Thor SLV-2 Agena D 419 / Agena D SS-01A 2701.
  • Solrad 6B - . Payload: NRL PL 142 / OPS 4988. Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Program: ELINT. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NRL ELINT. USAF Sat Cat: 1271 . COSPAR: 1965-016A. Apogee: 924 km (574 mi). Perigee: 896 km (556 mi). Inclination: 70.1000 deg. Period: 103.20 min. Summary: Identified by McDowell as probable NRL ELINT satellite..

1969 September 30 - . 13:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2G. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D 525 / Agena D.
  • Surcal - . Payload: NRL PL164 / OPS 7613. Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Program: ELINT. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NRL ELINT. USAF Sat Cat: 4295 . COSPAR: 1969-082G. Apogee: 926 km (575 mi). Perigee: 899 km (558 mi). Inclination: 70.0000 deg. Period: 103.30 min. Summary: Identified by McDowell as probable NRL ELINT satellite..

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