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astronautix.com Improved CRYSTAL


Class: Surveillance. Type: Military. Nation: USA. Agency: U.S. Air Force. Manufacturer: Lockheed.

Improved CRYSTAL was an optical reconnaisance satellite built for the US National Reconnaissance Office. Prime contractor was thought to be Lockheed. Instruments included a large telescope with visual and near infrared wavelength CCD sensors and the ICMS mapping system.


Specification

Total Mass: 26,000 kg.


Improved CRYSTAL Chronology


05 December 1995 USA 116 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Titan 4. Mass: 26,000 kg. Perigee: 250 km. Apogee: 976 km. Inclination: 98.7 deg.

Improved CRYSTAL was an optical reconnaisance satellite built for the US National Reconnaissance Office. Prime contractor was thought to be Lockheed. Instruments included a large telescope with visual and near infrared wavelength CCD sensors and the ICMS mapping system.


22 May 1999 USA 144 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Titan 4B. Perigee: 2,700 km. Apogee: 3,100 km. Inclination: 63.5 deg.

This classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite represented the first successful Titan launch in four attempts. The payload had been reported to be a Lacrosse radar imaging reconnaissance satellite. However the short 50 foot Titan fairing was used instead of the 66 foot fairing used by Lacrosse. This only seems to be used previously for an Improved Crystal photo-reconnaissance satellite in November 1992. The payload therefore could be related to the ocean surveillance triplets, or be an Improved CRYSTAL derivative.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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