Transit Research and Attitude Control

Transit Research and Attitude Control

The Transit Research and Attitude Control (TRAAC) satellite was launched by the U.S. Navy from Cape Kennedy along with Transit 4B on November 15, 1961. The 109 kg satellite was used to test the feasibility of using gravity-gradient stabilization in Transit navigational satellites. [cite web
url =
title = TRAAC
work = Gunter's Space Pages
accessdate = 2007-10-07
] It provided information on the effects of radiation from nuclear explosions in space, as it was one of several satellites whose detectors provided data for the Starfish Prime test; ultimately its solar cells were damaged by the radiation and it ceased operation. [cite paper
first = Wilmot N.
last = Hess
title = The Effects of High Altitude Explosions
publisher = National Aeronautics and Space Administration
date = September 1964
url =
format = PDF
id = NASA TN D-2402
accessdate = 2007-10-07
] It is expected to orbit for 800 years at an altitude of about 950 km (600 mi).

The first poem to be launched into orbit about the Earth was inscribed on the instrument panel of TRAAC. Entitled "Space Prober" and written by Prof. Thomas G. Bergin of Yale University, it reads in part::"And now 'tis man who dares assault the sky...":"And as we come to claim our promised place, aim only to repay the good you gave,":"And warm with human love the chill of space." [cite web
url =
title = Space Quotes
work = Space Educator's Handbook
publisher = NASA
accessdate = 2007-10-07


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