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Dragsphere 1, 2

Dragsphere [NRL]

The two Dragsphere satellites were small passive satellites to measure the effects of atmospheric drag.

Both spheres had the same geometric dimensions, but had a different mass. Dragsphere 1 had a mass of only 0.9 kg, while Dragsphere 2 had a mass of 9.5 kg. They were launched piggy-back with Transit-O 1 into 1000 km orbit.

After 30 years, the orbit of the more massive Dragsphere 2 remained nearly unchanged, while the light Dragsphere 1 orbit was lowered by about 50 km.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Air density research
Operator: Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
Contractors: Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
Equipment: None
Configuration: Sphere
Propulsion: None
Power: None
Lifetime: Passive
Mass: 0.9 kg (#1); 9.5 kg (#2)
Orbit: 1054 km × 1084 km, 89.93 (#1); 1056 km × 1086 km, 89.97
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Dragsphere 1 1964-063C 06.10.1964 Va 75-1-2 Thor-DSV2A Able-Star with Transit-O 1, Dragsphere 2
Dragsphere 2 1964-063E 06.10.1964 Va 75-1-2 Thor-DSV2A Able-Star with Transit-O 1, Dragsphere 1


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