Encyclopedia Astronautica
CRO


American military strategic defense satellite. 3 launches, 1991.04.28 (CRO-C) to (CRO-A).

The CRO (Chemical Release Observation) satellites were part of an SDIO program designed to test the ability of space-based, ground-based, and airborne sensors to track incoming ICBMs.

The experiment was designed to determine how the intentional release of rocket propellants from an incoming ICBM would mask the missile's signature. Managed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the 3 CRO satellites were deployed from Get-Away-Special (GAS) canisters carried by STS-39. After release, the satellites' chemical payloads were released by ground command, and were subsequently tracked by a number of sensors, including sensors carried aboard STS-39. These sensors were used to study the chemicals' optical, infrared, and RF characteristics. All three satellites performed as designed and decayed approximately one week after deployment. The spacecraft 's command and data handling system used an 1805 microprocessor interfacing to a UHF receiver and an S-band transmitter. Stabilization was provided by atmospheric drag on a large corner reflector on the end of a deployable boom. CRO-C released 6.8 kg of nitrogen tetroxide, CRO-B released 23.6 kg of UDMH, and CRO-A released monomethyl hydrazine.

AKA: Chemical Release Observation.
Gross mass: 197 kg (434 lb).
First Launch: 1991.04.28.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • BMDO American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ballistic Missile Defence Organization (formerly SDIO), USA. More...
  • CTA American manufacturer of spacecraft. CTA, Inc. , Virginia, Virginia, Virginia, 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.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. 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...

CRO Chronology


1991 April 28 - . 11:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-39.
  • CRO-C - . Payload: Discovery F12 / IBSS-SPAS 02 / CRO A / CRO B / CRO. Mass: 197 kg (434 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: CRO. Decay Date: 1991-05-14 . USAF Sat Cat: 21245 . COSPAR: 1991-031D. Apogee: 85 km (52 mi). Perigee: 67 km (41 mi). Inclination: 56.9000 deg. Period: 85.70 min. Summary: Chemical Release Observation; deployed 2 May 1991; released gases for observation by IBSS..
  • CRO-B - . Payload: Discovery F12 / IBSS-SPAS 02 / CRO A / CRO B / CRO. Mass: 197 kg (434 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: CRO. Decay Date: 1991-05-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 21246 . COSPAR: 1991-031E. Apogee: 88 km (54 mi). Perigee: 68 km (42 mi). Inclination: 56.9000 deg. Period: 85.80 min. Summary: Chemical Release Observation; deployed 2 May 1991; released gases for observation by IBSS..
  • CRO-A - . Payload: Discovery F12 / IBSS-SPAS 02 / CRO A / CRO B / CRO. Mass: 197 kg (434 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SDIO. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: CRO. Decay Date: 1991-05-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 21247 . COSPAR: 1991-031F. Apogee: 236 km (146 mi). Perigee: 215 km (133 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. Summary: Chemical Release Observation; deployed 3 May 1991; released gases for observation by IBSS..

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