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S-55
Explorer 23
Explorer 23
Credit: Manufacturer Image
American earth micrometeoroid satellite. Micrometeoroid research.

Status: Operational 1961. First Launch: 1961-06-30. Last Launch: 1964-11-06. Number: 4 .

NASA NSSDC Master Catalog Description

The Explorer 23 micrometeoroid satellite was the third in the series of S 55 micrometeoroid satellites orbited by NASA. Its purpose was to obtain data on the near-earth meteoroid environment, thus providing an accurate estimate of the probability of penetration in spacecraft structures by meteoroids and allowing a more confident definition of the penetration flux-material thickness relation to be derived. The cylindrically shaped spacecraft, about 61 cm in diameter and 234 cm long, was built around the burned out fourth stage of the Scout launch vehicle, which remained as part of the orbiting satellite. Explorer 23 carried stainless steel pressurized-cell penetration detectors, impact detectors, and cadmium sulfide cell detectors to obtain data on the size, number, distribution, and momentum of dust particles in the near-earth environment. In addition, the spacecraft was designed to provide data on the effects of the space environment on the operation of capacitor penetration detectors and solar-cell power supplies. The spacecraft mass, neglecting the fourth stage vehicle hardware and motor, was 96.4 kg. The spacecraft operated satisfactorily during its 1 year life (November 6, 1964, through November 7, 1965), and all mission objectives were accomplished, except for the cadmium sulfide cell detector experiment, which was damaged on liftoff and provided no data.

NASA NSSDC Master Catalog Description

This spacecraft, also known as Explorer 16, was the second in the series of micrometeoroid satellites orbited by NASA. Its purpose was to obtain data on the near-earth meteoroid environment, thus providing an accurate estimate of the probability of penetration in spacecraft structures by meteoroids and allowing a more confident definition of the relationship between penetration flux and material thickness to be derived. The cylindrically shaped spacecraft, about 61 cm in diameter and 192-cm long, was built around the burned-out fourth stage of the Scout launch vehicle that remained as part of the orbiting satellite. Explorer 16 carried stainless steel pressurized-cell penetration detectors, impact detectors, capacitor detectors, and cadmium sulfide cell detectors to obtain data on the size, number, distribution, and momentum of dust particles in the near-earth environment. The spacecraft operated satisfactorily during its 7-month life (December 16, 1962, to July 1963), and all mission objectives were accomplished.



Subtopics

S-55, a, b Research, Micrometeorites satellite operated by NASA, USA. Launched 1961 - 1962.

S-55c Research, Micrometeorites satellite operated by NASA, USA. Launched 1964.

Family: Earth, Earth micrometeoroid sat. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Scout, Scout X-1, Scout X-3, Scout X-4. Projects: Explorer. Launch Sites: Wallops Island, Wallops Island LA3. Agency: NASA. Bibliography: 126, 2, 3696, 3699, 3709, 3711, 3715, 3723, 6.
Photo Gallery

Explorer (13) S 55Explorer (13) S 55
Credit: Manufacturer Image



1961 June 30 - . 17:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-1. FAILURE: Third stage did not ignite, and the vehicle was destroyed.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Explorer (13) S 55 - . Payload: S-55. Mass: 84 kg (185 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: S-55. Decay Date: 1961-06-30 . Apogee: 172 km (106 mi). Micrometeorite counter satellite (S-55)..

1961 August 25 - . 18:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-1. FAILURE: Partial Failure.. Failed Stage: 4.
  • Explorer 13 - . Payload: S-55A. Mass: 86 kg (189 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: S-55. Decay Date: 1961-08-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 180 . COSPAR: 1961-Chi-1. Apogee: 1,164 km (723 mi). Perigee: 125 km (77 mi). Inclination: 37.7000 deg. Period: 97.50 min. Useless orbit; micrometeoroid research. Partial Failure..

1962 December 16 - . 14:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3.
  • Explorer 16 - . Payload: S-55B. Mass: 100 kg (220 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: S-55. USAF Sat Cat: 506 . COSPAR: 1962-B-Chi-1. Apogee: 1,159 km (720 mi). Perigee: 744 km (462 mi). Inclination: 52.0000 deg. Period: 104.10 min. Micrometeoroid data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .

1964 November 6 - . 12:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA3. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-4.
  • Explorer 23 - . Payload: S-55C. Mass: 134 kg (295 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Langley. Program: Explorer. Class: Earth. Type: Micrometeoroid satellite. Spacecraft: S-55. Decay Date: 1983-06-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 924 . COSPAR: 1964-074A. Apogee: 980 km (600 mi). Perigee: 463 km (287 mi). Inclination: 51.9000 deg. Period: 99.20 min. Micrometeoroid data. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). .


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