Discoverer 16

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Discoverer 16
Mission type Optical reconnaissance
Operator US Air Force/NRO
Mission duration Failed to orbit
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type KH-2 Corona'
Bus Agena-B
Manufacturer Lockheed
Launch mass 1,091 kilograms (2,405 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 26 October 1960, 20:26 (1960-10-26UTC20:26Z) UTC
Rocket Thor DM-21 Agena-B 253
Launch site Vandenberg LC-75-3-4
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Epoch Planned
The launch of Discoverer 16

Discoverer 16, also known as Corona 9011, was an American optical reconnaissance satellite which was lost in a launch failure in 1960. It was the first KH-2 Corona' satellite, based around an Agena-B.[1]

The launch of Discoverer 16 occurred at 20:26 UTC on 26 October 1960. A Thor DM-21 Agena-B rocket was used, flying from Launch Complex 75-3-4 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.[2] The Agena failed to separate from the Thor first stage, and as a result the satellite failed to achieve orbit.[3][4]

Discoverer 16 was intended to have been operated in a low Earth orbit. It had a mass of 1,091 kilograms (2,405 lb),[5] and was equipped with a panoramic camera with a focal length of 61 centimetres (24 in), which had a maximum resolution of 7.6 metres (25 ft).[4] It was to have recorded images onto 70-millimeter (2.8 in) film, which would have been returned in a Satellite Recovery Vehicle. The Satellite Recovery Vehicle aboard Discoverer 16 was SRV-506.[5]


  1. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "KH-2 Corona". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Pike, John (9 September 2000). "KH-2 Corona". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Corona". Mission and Spacecraft Library. NASA. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Wade, Mark. "KH-2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 26 June 2010.