RE: Whatever happened to 1963-055C?

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu Nov 03 2005 - 07:27:10 EST

  • Next message: "Re: Whatever happened to 1963-055C?" wrote:
    > Way back in early 1964, shortly after the 1963  US space 
    > program completed, some government agency or other under
    > the auspices  of newly installed president Lyndon B. Johnson
    > produced a list of the 60  spacecraft (if I remember 
    > correctly) orbited by the United States in 1963.  Included in 
    > that list, for the final launch of the year, were these
    > spacecraft:
    > 1963-055A    Classified USAF  payload    Thor Agena D    
    > December 21,  1963   
    >  VAFB
    > 1963-055B    Classified USAF  payload
    > 1963-055C    Classified USAF payload 
    > and they  were first listed in the Spring 1964 TRW Space Log, 
    > with orbital elements for  the first two spacecraft only. The
    > third was listed by Space Log as "status  unknown."
    The report filed by the U.S.A. with the U.N. on 1964 Feb 26 made no mention of a
    C object from the 1963-055 launch: 
    The other U.S. gov't report that listed a C object must have been in error. Here
    is how it could have happened. Someone involved in preparing the report may have
    referred to a list of objects sorted by catalogue number, which would have
    looked like this:
    718	1963-055A
    719	1963-055B
    720	1963-054C
    Object 720 was the C object of an earlier U.S. launch, but someone reading
    quickly could have mistakenly read it as belonging to 1963-055.
    Ted Molczan
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