Discoverer 36

Discoverer 36
Discoverer 36
Operator US Air Force/NRO
Major contractors Lockheed
Bus KH-3 Corona'''
Agena-B
Mission type Optical reconnaissance
Launch date 12 December 1961
20:40 UTC
Carrier rocket Thor DM-21 Agena-B 325
Launch site Vandenberg LC-75-3-4
Mission duration 4 days
Orbital decay 8 March 1962
COSPAR ID 1961 Alpha Kappa 1
Mass 1,150 kilograms (2,500 lb)
Orbital elements
Regime Low Earth
Inclination 81.1°
Apoapsis 445 kilometres (277 mi)
Periapsis 223 kilometres (139 mi)
Orbital period 91.2 minutes
The launch of Discoverer 36

Discoverer 36, also known as Corona 9029, was an American optical reconnaissance satellite which was launched in 1961. It was a KH-3 Corona''' satellite, based around an Agena-B.[1] It was the penultimate KH-3 satellite to be launched, the last successful mission, and the most successful of the programme.[2]

The launch of Discoverer 36 occurred at 20:40 UTC on 12 December 1961. A Thor DM-21 Agena-B rocket was used, flying from Launch Complex 75-3-4 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.[3] Upon successfully reaching orbit, it was assigned the Harvard designation 1961 Alpha Kappa 1. Oscar 1, the first amateur radio satellite, was launched aboard the same rocket.[3]

Discoverer 36 was operated in a low Earth orbit, with a perigee of 223 kilometres (139 mi), an apogee of 445 kilometres (277 mi), 81.1 degrees of inclination, and a period of 91.2 minutes.[4] The satellite had a mass of 1,150 kilograms (2,500 lb),[5] and was equipped with a panoramic camera with a focal length of 61 centimetres (24 in), which had a maximum resolution of 7.6 metres (25 ft).[6] Images were recorded onto 70-millimetre (2.8 in) film, and returned in a Satellite Recovery Vehicle four days after launch. The Satellite Recovery Vehicle used by Discoverer 36 was SRV-525. Once its images had been returned, Discoverer 36 remained in orbit until it decayed on 8 March 1962.[4]


References

  1. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "KH-3 Corona". Gunter's Space Page. http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/kh-3.htm. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Lindborg, Christina; Pike, John (9 September 2000). "KH-3 Corona". Federation of American Scientists. http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/imint/kh-3.htm. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. http://planet4589.org/space/log/launchlog.txt. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. http://planet4589.org/space/log/satcat.txt. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Wade, Mark. "KH-3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/kh3.htm. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Corona". Mission and Spacecraft Library. NASA. http://msl.jpl.nasa.gov/programs/corona.html. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 



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