Encyclopedia Astronautica
Snapshot



zsnapsho.jpg
Snapshot
Credit: USAF
American ion engine technology satellite. One launch, 1965.04.03. Carried SNAP-9A nuclear power source. The on-board reactor provided electrical power for a 2.2-lb ion engine.

Gross mass: 440 kg (970 lb).
First Launch: 1965.04.03.
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...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • US Army American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. US Army, 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 SLC4E Titan, Atlas launch complex. First designated PALC2-4 and used to launch Atlas Agena D with KH-7 spysats. Rebuilt after MOL cancellation in 1970 to handle Titan 3D with KH-9 and KH-11 spysats. Upgraded in 1989-1990 for Titan 4. More...

Snapshot Chronology


1965 April 3 - . 21:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 7401.
  • Snapshot - . Payload: SNAP 10A / Agena D / OPS 4682. Mass: 440 kg (970 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF; AEC. Class: Technology. Type: Ion engine technology satellite. Spacecraft: Snapshot. USAF Sat Cat: 1314 . COSPAR: 1965-027A. Apogee: 1,314 km (816 mi). Perigee: 1,270 km (780 mi). Inclination: 90.3000 deg. Period: 111.40 min. Only nuclear reactor ever orbited by the United States. The SNAP-10A reactor provided electrical power for an 8.5 mN ion engine using cesium propellant. The engine was shut off after one hour of operation when high-voltage spikes created electromagnetic interference with the satellite's attitude control system sensors. The reactor continued in operation, generating 39 kWt and more than 500 watts of electrical power for 43 days before the spacecraft telemetry failed.

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