|Mission type||Optical reconnaissance|
|Operator||US Air Force/NRO|
|Harvard designation||1961 Lambda 1|
|Spacecraft type||KH-5 Argon|
|Launch mass||1,150 kilograms (2,540 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||8 April 1961, 19:21UTC|
|Rocket||Thor DM-21 Agena-B 307|
|Launch site||Vandenberg LC-1 launch pad 75-3-5|
|End of mission|
|Decay date||16 April 1962|
|Perigee||294 kilometers (183 mi)|
|Apogee||624 kilometers (388 mi)|
Discoverer 23, also known as Corona 9016A, was an American area survey optical reconnaissance satellite which was launched in 1961. It was a KH-5 Argon satellite, based on an Agena-B. It was the second KH-5 mission to be launched, and the second to end in failure.
The launch of Discoverer 23 occurred at 19:21 UTC on 8 April 1961. A Thor DM-21 Agena-B rocket was used, flying from launch pad 75-3-5 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base. Upon successfully reaching orbit, it was assigned the Harvard designation 1961 Lambda 1.
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.
- Krebs, Gunter. "KH-5 Argon (Agena-B based)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- Wade, Mark. "KH-5". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Corona". Mission and Spacecraft Library. NASA. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
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