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

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 on an Agena-B.[1]

The launch of Discoverer 16

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.