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Rigidsphere (Gridsphere R, AVL-802)

Rigidsphere (front middle) [USAF]

The AVL-802 experiment contained Rigidsphere, a passive spherical satellite for atmospheric drag measurements.

Also included was an aluminized Mylar Balloon of the same size to compare the reflection properties and the drag of the Gridspheres with a real balloon.

The first attempt to orbit the AVL-802 experiment failed, but it was successfully repeated 3 years later.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: US Air Force (USAF) STP (Space Test Program)
Power: None
Orbit: 784 km × 916 km, 87.63
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Rigidsphere (Gridsphere R, AVL-802 Rigidsphere, P68-1) 1968-F07 16.08.1968 Va SLC-3E F Atlas-SLV3 Burner-2 with Orbiscal 1, OV5 8, Gridsphere 1, Gridsphere 2, Mylar Balloon, LCS 3, LIDOS, RM 18 & UVR, Radcat, SECOR 11, SECOR 12
Rigidsphere (Gridsphere R, AVL-802 Rigidsphere, P70-2) 1971-067P 07.08.1971 Va BMRS-A2 Atlas-F OV1 [Star-13A] with OV1 20, LOADS 2 and OV1 21, RTDS, Gridsphere 1, Gridsphere 2, Mylar Balloon, LCS 4
Further STP missions:

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