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Vanguard (20in Magnetometer, X-Ray, Environment)

Vanguard 3 [NASA]

Vanguard 3 was launched by a modified Vanguard rocket from the Eastern Test Range into a geocentric orbit. The objectives of the flight were to measure the earth's magnetic field, the solar X-ray radiation and its effects on the earth's atmosphere, and the near-earth micrometeoroid environment. Instrumentation included a proton magnetometer, X-ray ionization chambers, and various micrometeoroid detectors. The spacecraft was a 50.8-cm-diameter magnesium sphere. The magnetometer was housed in a glass fiber phenolic resin conical tube attached to the sphere. Data transmission stopped on 11 December 1959, after 84 days of operation. The data obtained provided a comprehensive survey of the earth's magnetic field over the area covered, defined the lower edge of the Van Allen radiation belt, and provided a count of micrometeoroid impacts. Vanguard 3 has an expected orbital lifetime of 300 yr.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Science
Operator: NASA
Contractors: Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
Power: Batteries
Lifetime: 84 days
Mass: 23 kg
Orbit: 512 km × 3744 km, 33.3
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Vanguard 3 (Magne-Ray Satellite) 1959 η 18.09.1959 CC LC-18A P Vanguard (mod)