Encyclopedia Astronautica
PFS


American lunar orbiter. 2 launches, 1971.07.26 (Apollo 15 Subsatellite) to 1972.04.16 (Apollo 16 Subsatellite). Released from Apollo; particles and fields experiments. Lunar Orbit (Selenocentric).

Gross mass: 36 kg (79 lb).
First Launch: 1971.07.26.
Last Launch: 1972.04.16.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Saturn V America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. Despite the study of innumerable variants, production was ended after only 12 were built and America spent the next fifty years in a pointless slow-motion withdrawal from manned space exploration. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Saturn V American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Apollo The successful US project to land a man on the moon. 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.
  • Baker, David, The History of Manned Spaceflight, Crown, New York, 1981.
  • Brooks, Courtney G, Grimwood, Hames M, Swenson, Lloyd S, Chariots for Apollo, Government Printing Office, 1989. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Particles and Fields Subsatellite Program, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Expected communication performance of the Apollo subsatellite, 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 LC39A Shuttle, Saturn V launch complex. LC39A and LC39B, part of the Kennedy Space Center, were built on Merritt Island (north/northwest of the Cape) to support the Saturn V/Apollo lunar landing program. The sites were modified in the last half of the 1970s to support the manned Space Shuttle program. Construction began in December 1963. Complex 39A was completed on 4 October 1965. Complex 39A supported two unmanned and nine manned Saturn V/Apollo missions between 9 November 1967 and 8 December 1972. The site also supported the launch of the Skylab space station on 14 May 1973. Both complexes were modified to support Space Shuttle missions later on. Complex 39A supported the first Space Shuttle launch on 12 April 1981. More...

PFS Chronology


1971 July 26 - . 13:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V. LV Configuration: Saturn V SA-510.
  • Apollo 15 Subsatellite - . Payload: PFS 1. Mass: 36 kg (79 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Flight: Apollo 15. Spacecraft: PFS. USAF Sat Cat: 5377 . COSPAR: 1971-063D. Summary: Released from Apollo 15 into 102 x 142 km lunar orbit on 4 August 1971 at 20:13:29 GMT; studied lunar particles and included fields experiments. Last telemetry from lunar orbit in 1984..

1972 April 16 - . 17:54 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V. LV Configuration: Saturn V SA-511.
  • Apollo 16 Subsatellite - . Payload: PFS 2. Mass: 36 kg (79 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Apollo. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Flight: Apollo 16. Spacecraft: PFS. Decay Date: 1972-05-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 6009 . COSPAR: 1972-031D. Summary: Released from Apollo 16 into lunar orbit on 24 April 1972 at 21:56:09 GMT into a 96 km x 122 km orbit; fields and particles data; impacted lunar surface 29 May 1972..

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