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CRADA signingCRADA signing
CRADA signing

Lieutenant General Ellen Pawlikowski, SMC commander, speaks at the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement signing ceremony, June 7. (Photo by Joe Juarez)
CRADA signing


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Posted: 6/11/2013

CRADA signingCRADA signing
CRADA signing

Lieutenant General Ellen Pawlikowski, SMC commander, and Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to certify the Falcon 9 v1.1 Launch System for National Security Space missions at a ceremony, June 7. The CRADA will be in effect until all certification activities are complete. While certification does not guarantee a contract award, it does enable a company to compete for launch contracts. (Photo by Joe Juarez)
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Posted: 6/11/2013

Space Tech ConferenceSpace Tech  ...
Space Tech Conference

Maj. Gen. Terrence Feehan, Space and Missile Systems Center vice commander, addresses attendees at the 2013 Space Tech Conference in Long Beach May 23. The conference brought together global decision makers involved in the design, build and testing of spacecraft, satellite, launch vehicle, and space-related technologies. (Photo by Hien Vu)
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Posted: 6/7/2013

Space Test Program ExperimentsSpace Test  ...
Space Test Program Experiments

M88-1 on STS-44. M88-1 was part of the Military Man in Space (MMIS) program. At this time the military was trying to decide if it had a manned requirement in space. This program evaluated the capability of man in space to enhance air, naval and ground force operations and assessed the feasibility of observations of space debris while in orbit. M88-1 was a test of what a manned (military) observer in space could accomplish. The collective results from this experiment and others were essentially that the Department of Defense did not see utility in manned space and the MMIS program was cancelled. The DoD focused on robotic systems that we fly today. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Space Test Program ExperimentsSpace Test  ...
Space Test Program Experiments

Part of M88-1 equipment (left) and a CCD detector on an early digital camera (right). M88-1 was part of the Military Man in Space (MMIS) program. At this time the military was trying to decide if it had a manned requirement in space. This program evaluated the capability of man in space to enhance air, naval and ground force operations and assessed the feasibility of observations of space debris while in orbit. M88-1 was a test of what a manned (military) observer in space could accomplish. The collective results from this experiment and others were essentially that the Department of Defense did not see utility in manned space and the MMIS program was cancelled. The DoD focused on robotic systems that we fly today. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Space Test Program ExperimentsSpace Test  ...
Space Test Program Experiments

The study of satellite systems and subsystems of spacecraft components are necessary to develop sustainability and reliability of spacecraft function. They form the focus of the second type of STP experiments and logically flow from the space environment studies. The satellite systems below illustrate two of many ways these STP experiments have improved satellite function and reliability. One of the hazards associated with the operation and physical composition of a spacecraft in orbit is the phenomenon known as spacecraft charging. Spacecraft charging results from different electric potentials being built upon various spacecraft surfaces. The different potentials cause arcing and can disable a spacecraft. In 1979, STP launched the SCATHA satellite, which carried out 14 experiments related to spacecraft charging. SCATHA had operated in geosynchronous orbit for over 10 years and had returned a wealth of useful data. SCATHA provided the data base for analyzing spacecraft anomalies and was the primary source of data for military standards related to spacecraft charging. The Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) mission launched by STP in 1990 carried out two particularly useful experiments in support of military operations in space. First, CRRES demonstrated and evaluated a new high efficiency solar panel. The experiment contributed to improved space power systems. CRRES also tested and space qualified advanced microelectronic components in space and has contributed to improved military space systems. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Space Test Program ExperimentsSpace Test  ...
Space Test Program Experiments

The study of satellite systems and subsystems of spacecraft components are necessary to develop sustainability and reliability of spacecraft function. They form the focus of the second type of STP experiments and logically flow from the space environment studies. The satellite systems below illustrate two of many ways these STP experiments have improved satellite function and reliability. One of the hazards associated with the operation and physical composition of a spacecraft in orbit is the phenomenon known as spacecraft charging. Spacecraft charging results from different electric potentials being built upon various spacecraft surfaces. The different potentials cause arcing and can disable a spacecraft. In 1979, STP launched the SCATHA satellite, which carried out 14 experiments related to spacecraft charging. SCATHA had operated in geosynchronous orbit for over 10 years and had returned a wealth of useful data. SCATHA provided the data base for analyzing spacecraft anomalies and was the primary source of data for military standards related to spacecraft charging. The Combined Release and Radiation Effects Satellite (CRRES) mission launched by STP in 1990 carried out two particularly useful experiments in support of military operations in space. First, CRRES demonstrated and evaluated a new high efficiency solar panel. The experiment contributed to improved space power systems. CRRES also tested and space qualified advanced microelectronic components in space and has contributed to improved military space systems. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Space Test Program ExperimentsSpace Test  ...
Space Test Program Experiments

The Sun’s magnetic field and the release of plasma directly affect Earth and the rest of the solar system. Solar wind shapes the Earth’s magnetosphere and magnetic storms are illustrated here as approaching Earth. These storms, which occur frequently, can disrupt communications and navigational equipment, damage satellites, and even cause blackouts. The white lines represent the solar wind; the purple line is the bow shock line; and the blue lines surrounding the Earth represent its protective magnetosphere. The magnetic cloud of plasma can extend to 30 million miles wide by the time it reaches earth. (Image and caption courtesy of NASA Image Gallery)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Long-Duration Exposure Facility Long-Duration  ...
Long-Duration Exposure Facility

The Long-Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) was a largely passive re-usable satellite payload tailored to exploit the Space Shuttle’s two-way transportation capability. Specifically, the LDEF was designed to provide a large number of economical opportunities for science and technology experiments that required modest electrical power and data processing while in space and which benefited from post-flight laboratory investigations with the retrieved experiment hardware. In fact, many of the experiments developed for the LDEF-STS mission were completely passive and depended entirely on post-flight laboratory investigations for the experiment results. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Long-Duration Exposure Facility Long-Duration  ...
Long-Duration Exposure Facility

The graphic illustrates gravity gradient stabilization of a satellite’s orbit around the earth using the satellites mass distribution and the earth’s gravitational field. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Long-Duration Exposure Facility Long-Duration  ...
Long-Duration Exposure Facility

The graphic illustrates gravity gradient stabilization of a satellite’s orbit around the earth using the satellites mass distribution and the earth’s gravitational field. (USAF photo)
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Long-Duration Exposure Facility Long-Duration  ...
Long-Duration Exposure Facility

The large majority of the craters appeared to be generally symmetric and hemispheric in shape, exhibiting the typical lip or rim around the crater. The crater interior surfaces generally displayed evidence of being molten during the crater formation process. Only in a very few rare craters could chunks or fragments of the impacting particle be found. Almost every type of spacecraft surface or material that was in use in the 1980's, or conceived for potential use in the foreseeable future was exposed to the low-Earth orbit environment on LDEF. Therefore, examinations of the impact-induced damage to such surfaces/materials provided extremely valuable information for spacecraft designers. One of the most significant results from the inspection of impact sites on LDEF was the fact that much of the total damage resulted from the effects of several environmental factors of LEO space, and not just hypervelocity impacts by meteoroid or debris particles. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Long-Duration Exposure Facility Long-Duration  ...
Long-Duration Exposure Facility

In general, the results from the LDEF spacecraft have provided much useful information on material sensitivity in the LEO environment. This is particularly true for selected materials such as thermal control coatings, composites, polymers, fasteners and solar cells. However, LDEF satellite material sensitivity data for other materials like glasses, glass coatings, lubricants, adhesives and seal materials were limited. Many of the experiments that flew on LDEF were only designed to measure material sensitivity for one year in an LEO environment. However, some materials expected to survive one year simply did not survive the 5.8 years that LDEF eventually remained in orbit. The initial inspections of the impact craters on LDEF surfaces revealed that there were no obvious physical differences in crater characteristic formed by natural meteoroids and those formed by man-made debris. The panel is one of four LDEF panels obtained by the SMC Heritage Center from the Aerospace Corporation. The attached magnifier reveals two of such impact craters. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Long-Duration Exposure Facility Long-Duration  ...
Long-Duration Exposure Facility

Attitude control of the LDEF spacecraft was achieved with gravity gradient (This is a method of stabilizing artificial satellites in a fixed orientation using only the orbited body's mass distribution and the Earth's gravitational field. The main advantage is the low use of power and resources.) and inertial distribution to maintain three-axis stability in orbit. Propulsion or other attitude control systems were therefore not required, and LDEF was free of acceleration forces and contaminants from jet firings. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

First Generation Air Force Ballistic MissilesFirst  ...
First Generation Air Force Ballistic Missiles

Titan I missile J-7 begins the first successful flight test of an operational Titan I ICBM on 10 August 1960 at the Atlantic Missile Range. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

First Generation Air Force Ballistic MissilesFirst  ...
First Generation Air Force Ballistic Missiles

Construction progresses on an underground Atlas missile complex at Schilling AFB, Kansas, in August 1960. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

First Generation Air Force Ballistic MissilesFirst  ...
First Generation Air Force Ballistic Missiles

Atlas 3F rises from its hardened underground vertical silo at Vandenberg AFB on 13 February 1962 during a test of the elevator mechanisms. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

First Generation Air Force Ballistic MissilesFirst  ...
First Generation Air Force Ballistic Missiles

An Air Force military crew prepares to test fire an Atlas engine at Edwards AFB around 1958. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

First Generation Air Force Ballistic MissilesFirst  ...
First Generation Air Force Ballistic Missiles

The three people most directly responsible for the success of the early Atlas program: Trevor Gardner (Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Research and Development), then-Maj Gen Bernard A. Schriever (commander of the Western Development Division), and Dr. Simon Ramo (CEO of the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation). (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles2nd Gen  ...
2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles

PEACEKEEPER Missile X was renamed the Peacekeeper by President Reagan on 22 November 1982. It was a four-stage ICBM capable of precisely delivering 10 reentry vehicles to different targets more than 6,000 miles away. It successfully carried out its first flight test on 17 June 1983, when a Peacekeeper that had been cold-launched from a canister at Vandenberg AFB reached its target in the Kwajalein Missile Range. In April 1983, the President accepted the recommendation of the Scowcroft Commission that the Peacekeeper be temporarily based in existing Minuteman silos. The first ten missiles went on alert between 17 October and 22 December 1986, and the basing program achieved full operational capability when the fiftieth missile entered its silo on 20 December 1988. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles2nd Gen  ...
2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles

SMALL INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILE (SICBM) In December of 1986, President Reagan had authorized full scale development of the Small ICBM (SICBM), a new, lightweight missile carrying only one reentry vehicle that would be housed in mobile launchers based at widespread locations. When hostilities threatened, the launchers would drive out onto the roadways and scatter across the country. It achieved its first totally successful flight test on 18 April 1991, when a SICBM that had been cold launched from a canister at Vandenberg AFB reached its target in the Kwajalein Test Range. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles2nd Gen  ...
2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles

MINUTEMAN I The Minuteman was the first American intercontinental ballistic missile to use solid rather than liquid fuel. It possessed all the virtues of the Titan II, and its use of solid fuel gave it two additional advantages: greater simplicity and economy. The first Minuteman flight test missile was launched on 1 February 1961, and the first two flights of Minuteman missiles were turned over to the Strategic Air Command on 11 December 1962. By the end of 1965, Minuteman missiles had been deployed at four bases in the north central United States, and the older, less efficient, and less economical Atlas and Titan I missiles had been retired from the active inventory. MINUTEMAN II AND III Just as the Atlas and the Titan I had been replaced by the Titan II and the Minuteman, the original Minuteman was itself replaced by the more advanced Minuteman II and Minuteman III. The Minuteman II incorporated a new, larger second stage, improved guidance, greater range and payload capacity, and greater resistance to the effects of nuclear blasts. The Minuteman III, for its part, possessed an improved third stage, employed more penetration aids to counter anti-ballistic missile defense systems, and was equipped with up to three independently targetable warheads. By the end of 1975, 450 Minuteman IIs and 550 Minuteman IIIs were in place and ready for operation at six bases in the north central United States. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles2nd Gen  ...
2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles

Like the original Titan I, Titan II was a two-stage, liquid fuel missile. Unlike its predecessor, however, it used storable propellants, an all-inertial guidance system, and it could be launched from hardened underground silos. These improvements gave the Titan II quicker reaction time, greater survivability, and improved performance. The first Titan II unit achieved operational status in June 1963 and the last in December of the same year. The Air Force issued direction to deactivate Titan II missiles on 30 April 1982. The 55 operational missiles were removed from their silos during 1982-1987 and placed into storage for possible conversion to space launch vehicles. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles2nd Gen  ...
2nd Gen Ballistic Missiles

Like the original Titan I, Titan II was a two-stage, liquid fuel missile. Unlike its predecessor, however, it used storable propellants, an all-inertial guidance system, and it could be launched from hardened underground silos. These improvements gave the Titan II quicker reaction time, greater survivability, and improved performance. The first Titan II unit achieved operational status in June 1963 and the last in December of the same year. The Air Force issued direction to deactivate Titan II missiles on 30 April 1982. The 55 operational missiles were removed from their silos during 1982-1987 and placed into storage for possible conversion to space launch vehicles. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Titan IIIC-11 successfully launches 7 Initial Defense Communications Satellite Program (IDCSP) satellites and 1 experimental satellite from Cape Canaveral on 16 June 1966. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Titan IIIA-6 with upper stage Transtage 4 rises from Launch Complex 20 at Cape Canaveral on 6 May 1965. This was the fourth and last launch of a Titan IIIA, the developmental configuration of the Titan III. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Agena A 1008, containing the first MIDAS payload for space-based missile detection, is hoisted up the side of the gantry for mating with Atlas 29D on 4 February 1960. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Agena B 1061 for Discoverer XVI is prepared for integration and launch on 26 October 1960. This was the first use of an Agena B. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

Agena A 1057 for Discoverer XIII is checked out by Air Force and Lockheed technicians before launch on 10 August 1960. Its reentry capsule provided the first successful recovery from orbit. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Air Force Launch VehiclesEarly Air Force  ...
Early Air Force Launch Vehicles

The first Thor Agena A launch vehicle (Thor 163 with Agena 1022) sits on Pad 75-3-4 at Vandenberg AFB before launching Discoverer I on 28 February 1959. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

An Atlas I Centaur (AC-75) successfully launches the Navy's UHF Follow-On satellite F2 from Cape Canaveral on 3 September 1993. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

An Atlas IIA Centaur (AC-118) successfully launches the DSCS III satellite B7 from Cape Canaveral on 31 July 1995. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

An Atlas II Centaur (AC-112) successfully launches the Navy's UHF Follow-On satellite F4 from Cape Canaveral on 28 January 1995. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

A Delta II booster successfully launches GPS II-10 from Cape Canaveral on 26 November 1990. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

An IUS launches NASA's Magellan mission to Venus from the Space Shuttle on 4 May 1989. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

IUS-1 enters thermal vacuum testing at Boeing's Seattle facility in May 1982. It launched NASA's TDRSS-A satellite from the Space Shuttle on 4 April 1983. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

The Space Shuttle’s test orbiter Enterprise is used for a fit check at SLC-6, the almost completed STS launch facility at Vandenberg AFB, in November 1984. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Later Air Force Launch VehiclesLater Air Force  ...
Later Air Force Launch Vehicles

A refurbished Titan II missile launches the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's NOAA 15 weather satellite from Vandenberg AFB on 13 May 1998. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

DMSP Block 5C satellite mated to Thor Burner IIA launch vehicle during addition of payload fairing at Vandenberg AFB, about 1972-1976. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

NASA’s early TIROS satellite, showing cameras on flat side. TIROS was the technological ancestor of all weather satellites, including DMSP. (Photograph courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce)
Defense ...


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Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

The first weather satellite was NASA’s Television Infrared Observation Satellite (TIROS) I, launched by AFBMD on 1 April 1960 using a Thor Able rocket. This photograph shows the satellite mated to the upper stage. (Photograph courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce)
Defense ...


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Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

Artist’s concept of DMSP Block 5D-2 satellite in orbit. The Block 5D-2 version was launched 9 times during 1982-1997. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

Artist’s concept of DMSP Block 5D-3 satellite in orbit. Launches of the Block 5D-3 version began in 1999. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Defense Meteorological SatellitesDefense  ...
Defense Meteorological Satellites

Model of DMSP Block 5D-1 satellite in orbit. The Block 5D-1 version was launched 5 times during 1976-1980. (USAF photo)
Defense ...


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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Reconnaissance SatellitesEarly  ...
Early Reconnaissance Satellites

A pair of Advanced Vela satellites is stacked in launch configuration for testing about 1968. (USAF photo)
Early ...


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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Reconnaissance SatellitesEarly  ...
Early Reconnaissance Satellites

Maj Alex Pestrichella (left) and another officer from SAMSO’s Vela program office pose with a pair of Advanced Vela satellites about 1968. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Reconnaissance SatellitesEarly  ...
Early Reconnaissance Satellites

Vela satellite from first pair launched on 17 October 1963. Left to right: Dr. William J. Chalmers of TRW’s Space Technology Laboratories; Col Lonnie Q. Westmoreland, program director at Space Systems Division; and Stanley S. Strong of the Aerospace Corporation. (USAF photo)
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Posted: 6/5/2013

Early Reconnaissance SatellitesEarly  ...
Early Reconnaissance Satellites

A pair of Advanced Vela satellites is stacked for launch on a Titan IIIC launch vehicle in May 1969. (USAF photo)
Early ...


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Posted: 6/5/2013

    

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