San Marco 1
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (January 2011)|
|Mission type||Ionospheric Earth science, Space physics|
|Launch date||December 15, 1964 at 20:24:00 UTC|
|Carrier rocket||Scout X-4|
|Launch site||Wallops LA-3A|
|Mission duration||~ 272 days|
|Orbital decay||September 13, 1965|
|Mass||115.2 kilograms (254 lb)|
|Regime||Low Earth orbit|
|Apoapsis||846.0 kilometres (525.7 mi)|
|Periapsis||198.0 kilometres (123.0 mi)|
|Orbital period||94.9 minutes|
|Atmosphere, Electron Content-Beacon|
San Marco 1, also known as San Marco A, was the first Italian satellite, and one of the earliest non-Soviet/US spacecraft. Built in-house by the Italian Space Research Commission (Italian: Commissione per le Ricerche Spaziali, CRS) on behalf of the National Research Council, it was the first of five as part of the Italian-US San Marco programme.
The name of the spacecraft series comes from the San Marco platform, a Jackup barge used as an offshore launch pad for the main phase of the project. San Marco (English: Saint Mark) is the patron saint of Venice, often depicted as aiding Venetian sailors.
In 1961 the Italian government, led by Amintore Fanfani, approved a plan for the development of an indigenous satellite research programme that had earlier been proposed by the CRS. At the time only the Soviet Union and the United States had launched spacecraft into orbit and Italy lacked a suitable launcher and crews trained in firing orbital rockets. As a result a cooperative plan was developed with the American space agency NASA who would provide the rockets and the launch crew training for Italians to operate them.
The spacecraft was built by members of the CRS, a group of distinguished Italian scientists and engineers including Edoardo Amaldi, co-founder of major European scientific organisations including CERN and ESRO.
The primary mission of the San Marco series was to conduct ionospheric (upper-atmosphere) research. As a test satellite San Marco 1 contained relatively few experiments;
- Atmosphere, an Ion probe.
- Electron-content Beacon, a radio transmitter to study ionospheric effects on long-range radio communication.
San Marco 1 was launched by an Italian crew using an American Scout rocket from Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, US. Launched on December 15, 1964 at 20:24:00 UTC the satellite destructively re-entered the atmosphere on September 13, 1965.
See also 
- San Marco programme
- Italian National Research Council
- Scout rocket
- Wallops Flight Facility
- Broglio Space Centre - formerly San Marco Equatorial Range
- "San Marco 1". NASA – National Space Science Data Centre. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- Krebs, Gunter. "San Marco 1, 2 (A, B)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
- "II. SATELLITES". NASA History Office. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
- "Chapter 18 - Cooperation With Western Countries". NASA History Office. Retrieved 2010-08-24.