Encyclopedia Astronautica
Rigidsphere


American military target satellite. One launch, 1971.08.07. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology.

The Rigidsphere and Gridsphere satellites of the 1960s were wire frames, embedded in an inflatable plastic substrate that sublimated away in space, leaving the open wire grid spheres.

Gross mass: 6.00 kg (13.20 lb).
First Launch: 1971.08.07.
Number: 1 .

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...
  • Atlas F American intercontinental ballistic missile. Final operational version of Atlas ICBM. Differed in guidance systems. Deployed as missiles from 1961 to 1966. After retirement, the ICBM's were refurbished and used for over thirty years as space launch vehicles. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, 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.
  • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 1998.. 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 576A2 Atlas launch complex. Originally an Atlas 576 SMS ICBM pad. Upgraded for use as ABRES re-entry vehicle test program pad in 1965, and for BMRS program in 1971. More...

Rigidsphere Chronology


1971 August 7 - . 00:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 76F/ OV-1 (2x).
  • Rigidsphere - . Payload: AVL-802 Rigid Sphere. Mass: 6.00 kg (13.20 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft: Rigidsphere. Decay Date: 1979-11-02 . USAF Sat Cat: 5406 . COSPAR: 1971-067H. Apogee: 916 km (569 mi). Perigee: 781 km (485 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 101.80 min. Summary: Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

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