Discoverer 23 was operated in a low Earth orbit, with a perigee of 294 kilometres (183 mi), an apogee of 624 kilometres (388 mi), 82.3 degrees of inclination, and a period of 93.77 minutes. The satellite had a mass of 1,150 kilograms (2,540 lb), and was equipped with a frame camera with a focal length of 76 millimetres (3.0 in), which had a maximum resolution of 140 metres (460 ft). Images were recorded onto 127-millimeter (5.0 in) film, and ejected aboard a Satellite Return Vehicle, SRV-521. Due to a problem with Discoverer 23's attitude control system, the SRV ended up boosting itself into a higher orbit rather than deorbiting. Discoverer 23 decayed from orbit on 16 April 1962, followed by the SRV on 23 May 1962.
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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