Encyclopedia Astronautica
Relay



relay2.jpg
Relay
Credit: NASA
American communications technology satellite. 2 launches, 1962.12.13 (Relay 1) and 1964.01.21 (Relay 2).

Relay was a communications satellite of the active repeater type, in which signals from one ground station were picked up and rebroadcast to another station by the satellite's internal equipment. A NASA project, Relay was a 78 kg, spin-stabilized spacecraft boosted by a Delta launch vehicle. The first Relay satellite was launched December 13, 1962, and it remained operational for more than 2 years. Relay 2, launched January 21, 1964, was used in thousands of tests and experiments and in some 40 public demonstrations through September 1965.

Gross mass: 78 kg (171 lb).
First Launch: 1962.12.13.
Last Launch: 1964.01.21.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Delta B American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-21 + 1 x AJ10-118A + 1 x Altair More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, 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.
  • Aerospace Yearbook, 1966,
  • NASA Report, Relay I Program Final Report, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Project Relay Communication Performance Interim Report No. 1, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Operations with an Experimental Satellite, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Relay I Radiation Effects Experiment, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Project Relay - Quality Control Procedures and Flow Charts, 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 LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17A Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Pad 17A supported Thor, Delta, and Delta II launches into the 21st Century. More...

Relay Chronology


1962 December 13 - . 23:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta B. LV Configuration: Thor Delta B 355/D15.
  • Relay 1 - . Payload: NASA A-15. Mass: 78 kg (171 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Relay. USAF Sat Cat: 503 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Upsilon-1. Apogee: 7,440 km (4,620 mi). Perigee: 1,319 km (819 mi). Inclination: 47.5000 deg. Period: 185.10 min. Summary: Communications satellite technology tests. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1964 January 21 - . 21:14 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta B. LV Configuration: Thor Delta B 373/D23.
  • Relay 2 - . Payload: Relay B. Mass: 78 kg (171 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Greenbelt. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft: Relay. USAF Sat Cat: 737 . COSPAR: 1964-003A. Apogee: 7,540 km (4,680 mi). Perigee: 1,961 km (1,218 mi). Inclination: 46.4000 deg. Period: 194.70 min. Summary: Experimental commsat. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

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