The Sampan Sousea satellite was part of a series of so called Program 11 or P-11 "Subsatellite Ferrets", low orbit ELINT/SIGINT satellites to pinpoint and characterize different Radar emitters in the Soviet Union and Warsaw pact states.
The satellites were based on Lockheed's P-11 bus, which was designed to fit on the aft rack of the Agena-D upper stage. The bus contained each one or two focused payload black boxes and different antenna configurations according to payload, as well as deployable solar arrays. The satellite featured two solid rocket motors, which allowed them to rise and circularize their orbit after deployment from the host satellite. Both spin or gravity gradient stabilization was possible.
This subsatellite was deployed from the propulsion rack of the Agena-D stage of a KH-7 Gambit-1 reconnaissance satellite. It used two solid-fuel kick-motors to maneuver itself into its operational orbit after deployment.
|Type / Application:||ELINT, SIGINT|
|Contractors:||Lockheed (bus); SEL (Sampan payload); Applied Technology Industries (Sousea payload)|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||509 km × 518 km, 93.17°|
|Sampan 1 / Sousea 1 (P-11 4405, Mission 7314/7315, OPS 6810)||1966-074B||16.08.1966||Va SLC-4E||Atlas-SLV3 Agena-D||with KH-7 31|