Cosmic radiation, solar radiation research. Launched at 0630 local time. Reached 127.8 km.
Rocket performance flight test. Launched at 0810 local time. Reached 289 km.
In a NASA position paper, stimulated by Secretary of Defense McNamara's testimony on the fiscal year 1964 budget and an article in Missiles and Rockets interpreting his statements, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA Associate Administrator, stressed NASA's primary management responsibility in the Gemini program. McNamara's remarks had been interpreted as presaging an Air Force take-over of Project Gemini. Seamans recognized the vital role of the Department of Defense in Gemini management and operations but insisted that NASA had the final and overall responsibility for program success.
Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) accepted the first Agena D (AD-71) for the Gemini program. The Agena D was a production-line vehicle procured from Lockheed by SSD for NASA through routine procedures. Following minor retrofit operations, the vehicle, now designated Gemini Agena target vehicle 5001, entered the manufacturing final assembly area at the Lockheed plant on May 14. There began the conversion of the Agena D into a target vehicle for Gemini rendezvous missions. Major modifications were installation of a target docking adapter (supplied by McDonnell), an auxiliary equipment rack, external status displays, a secondary propulsion system, and an L-band tracking radar.
The constellation was revised to 12 planes x 24 satellites - $ 9 billion for 288 units. Boeing awarded satellite contract April 30 1997.
The Titan core vehicle operated correctly, but a software error in the Centaur stage resulted in all three planned burns being made at the wrong times, during the first orbit instead of over a six hour period. The three burns planned to place Milstar successively in a 170 x 190 km parking orbit, a geostationary transfer orbit, and finally geosynchronous orbit. Instead, at 19:00 GMT, several hours before the scheduled third burn, Milstar separated into a useless 740 km x 5000 km orbit. Milstar-2 F1 was the first upgraded Milstar with an extra Medium Data Rate payload with a higher throughput. The payload included EHF (44 GHz), SHF (20 GHz) and UHF communications transponders and satellite-to-satellite crosslinks, with narrow beams to avoid jamming.