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Westford Needles
Westford
Westford
Credit: Manufacturer Image
American passive communications satellite. In an attempt to lay a radio-reflective ring around the world, small metal dipole needles were allowed to sublimate out of a matrix. Experimental, communication, passice satellite for MIT Lincoln Laboratory, USA. Launched 1961-1963.

AKA: West Ford. Status: Operational 1961. First Launch: 1961-10-21. Last Launch: 1963-05-09. Number: 3 . Gross mass: 40 kg (88 lb).

The experiment was greatly criticized by astronomers who feared optical and radio pollution. However the needles apparently didn't work as a radio reflector and the feared effects did not come to pass.


More at: Westford Needles.

Family: Communications, Passive communications satellite. Country: USA. Launch Vehicles: Atlas, Atlas Agena B. Launch Sites: Vandenberg, Vandenberg SLC3E. Bibliography: 2, 279.

1961 October 21 - . 13:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena B.
  • Westford - . Payload: Westford. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: WestFord Needles. USAF Sat Cat: 194 . COSPAR: 1961-A-Delta-3. Apogee: 3,963 km (2,462 mi). Perigee: 3,252 km (2,020 mi). Inclination: 95.8500 deg. Period: 165.51 min.

1962 April 9 - . 15:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena B.
  • West Ford Drag - . Payload: West Ford Drag Experiment. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Spacecraft: WestFord Needles. Decay Date: 1962-05-04 . USAF Sat Cat: 272 . COSPAR: 1962-Kappa-2.

1963 May 9 - . 20:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena B.

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