Discoverer 16 was intended to have been operated in a low Earth orbit. It had a mass of 1,091 kilograms (2,405 lb), 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). 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.
Payloads are separated by bullets ( · ), launches by pipes ( | ). Manned flights are indicated in bold text. Uncatalogued launch failures are listed in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are denoted in brackets.
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