OPS 0855

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OPS 0855
MOL Launch.jpg
Launch of OPS 0855 with OV4-1, OV1-6 and Gemini B
Mission type Technology
Operator US Air Force
COSPAR ID 1966-099A
Mission duration Planned: 75 days
Achieved: 30 days
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer Martin Marietta
Launch mass 9,680 kilograms (21,340 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 3 November 1966, 13:50 (1966-11-03UTC13:50Z) UTC
Rocket Titan IIIC
Launch site Cape Canaveral LC-40
End of mission
Last contact 3 December 1966 (1966-12-04)
Decay date 9 January 1967
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 305 kilometers (190 mi)
Apogee 298 kilometers (185 mi)
Inclination 32.82 degrees

OPS 0855, also designated OV4-3, was a boilerplate Manned Orbital Laboratory spacecraft launched in 1966. It was flown to demonstrate the launch configuration for future MOL missions. A number of research payloads, designated Manifold were carried aboard it, which were intended to operate for 75 days, however the spacecraft ceased operations after just 30. It was built from a decommissioned HGM-25A Titan I first stage oxidiser tank, bolted to a Transtage. It was part of the MOL and Orbiting Vehicle projects.

The Manifold experimental package consisted of two micrometeoroid detection payloads, a transmitter beacon designated ORBIS-Low, a cell growth experiment, a prototype hydrogen fuel cell, a thermal control experiment, a propellent transfer and monitoring system to investigate fluid dynamics in zero gravity, a prototype attitude control system, an experiment to investigate the reflection of light in space, and an experiment into heat transfer. The spacecraft was painted to allow it to be used as a target for an optical tracking and observation experiment from the ground.[1][2]

OPS 0855 was the primary payload of Titan IIIC 3C-9,[3] which was launched from LC-40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on 3 November 1966.[4] The Gemini B prototype was flown on the same rocket, and was released onto a suborbital trajectory during launch. The adaptor connecting the Gemini spacecraft to OPS 0855 contained three additional spacecraft, two OV4-1 satellites, and OV1-6. These were released into low Earth orbit.

OPS 0855 entered an orbit with an apogee of 298 kilometres (185 mi), a perigee of 305 kilometres (190 mi), and 32.82 degrees of inclination.[2] It received the COSPAR International Designator 1966-099A, and remained in orbit until its decay on 9 January 1967.[5] No further MOL missions were flown, following the cancellation of the project in June 1969.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heyman, Jos (2005-04-12). "OV". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles. Designation Systems. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  2. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "OV4 3". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  3. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  4. ^ Wade, Mark. "OV4". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-05-17.