Encyclopedia Astronautica
OAO



oao3bw.jpg
OAO
Orbiting Astronomical Observatory
Credit: NASA
American visible astronomy satellite. 4 launches, 1966.04.08 (OAO 1) to 1972.08.21 (OAO 3).

AKA: Orbiting Astronomical Observatory.
Gross mass: 2,027 kg (4,468 lb).
First Launch: 1966.04.08.
Last Launch: 1972.08.21.
Number: 4 .

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
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, 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.
  • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 1998.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report,
  • NASA Report, The Observatory Generation of Satellites, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, A computer control system for an advanced OAO, 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 LC12 Atlas launch complex. The complex was built for the Atlas ballistic missile program. Launch sites 11 to 14 were accepted between August 1957 and mid-April 1958. Complex 12 supported its first Atlas launch on 10 January 1958, and it supported nine Ranger missions and four Mariner missions between 12 August 1961 and 15 June 1967. Complexes 11, 12 and 14 were deactivated in 1967, and Complex 13 was deactivated in April 1978. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC36B Atlas V, Atlas launch complex. Atlas Centaur launch pad, in service from 1964 until the retirement of the launch vehicle. More...

OAO Chronology


1966 April 8 - . 19:35 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC12. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 5001 (AA15) / Agena D 6703.
  • OAO 1 - . Payload: OAO A1. Mass: 1,774 kg (3,911 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. USAF Sat Cat: 2142 . COSPAR: 1966-031A. Apogee: 793 km (492 mi). Perigee: 783 km (486 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Period: 100.60 min. Summary: Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1968 December 7 - . 08:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur SLV-3C. LV Configuration: SLV-3C Centaur AC-16 / Centaur D-1A 5002C.
  • OAO 2 - . Payload: OAO A2. Mass: 2,012 kg (4,435 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. USAF Sat Cat: 3597 . COSPAR: 1968-110A. Apogee: 758 km (470 mi). Perigee: 749 km (465 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Period: 99.90 min. Orbiting Astronomical Observatory; carried 11 telescopes; performed X-ray, UV, IR observations of stars. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit

1970 November 30 - . 22:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur SLV-3C. LV Configuration: SLV-3C Centaur AC-21 / Centaur D-1A 5003C. FAILURE: Shroud failed to separate.. Failed Stage: S.
  • OAO-B - . Payload: OAO B. Mass: 2,121 kg (4,676 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. Decay Date: 1970-11-30 . COSPAR: F701130A. Summary: Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. Launch vehicle was to have put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

1972 August 21 - . 10:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC36B. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur SLV-3C. LV Configuration: SLV-3C Centaur AC-22 / Centaur D-1A 5004C.
  • OAO 3 - . Payload: OAO-C. Mass: 2,204 kg (4,858 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft: OAO. USAF Sat Cat: 6153 . COSPAR: 1972-065A. Apogee: 724 km (449 mi). Perigee: 713 km (443 mi). Inclination: 35.0000 deg. Period: 99.20 min. Summary: UV observations of stellar objects. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). Launch vehicle put payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

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