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Rhyolite 1, 2, 3, 4 / Aquacade 1, 2, 3, 4

The Rhyolite (later renamed to Aquacade, when the former name became public) are geostationary signals intelligence satellites. Their purpose was to intercept missile telemetry from the Soviet Union and China. Unlike the Canyon SIGINT crafts, they were positioned in geostationary orbit.

The Rhyolite satellites were also known as Program 720 and Program 472. They were succeeded by the Magnum / Orion series.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: ELINT
Operator: USAF
Contractors: TRW, E-Systems
Equipment: ?
Configuration: ~ 20 m   Dish Antenna, 3-Axis-Stabilization
Propulsion: ?
Power:
Lifetime:
Mass: 700 kg
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Rhyolite 1 → Aquacade 1 (OPS 5346) 1970-046A 19.06.1970 CC LC-13 Atlas-SLV3A Agena-D
Rhyolite 2 → Aquacade 2 (OPS 6063) 1973-013A 06.03.1973 CC LC-13 Atlas-SLV3A Agena-D
Aquacade 3 (OPS 4258) 1977-114A 11.12.1977 CC LC-13 Atlas-SLV3A Agena-D
Aquacade 4 (OPS 8790) 1978-038A 07.04.1978 CC LC-13 Atlas-SLV3A Agena-D
Further high orbit ELINT missions:

Geostationary orbit (Canyon-Chalet-Vortex-Mercury series) Geostationary orbit (Rhyolite-Aquacade-Magnum-Orion series) High elliptical orbit (Jumpseat-Trumpet series)