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astronautix.com Midas


Other Designations: Missile Defense Alarm System. Class: Early Warning. Nation: USA. Agency: U.S. Air Force.

Midas was an unsuccessful program to detect ballistic missile launches from low earth orbit using IR sensors. It also seems to have been a cover name for other black projects.


Specification

Total Mass: 1,840 kg.


Midas Chronology


26 February 1960 Midas 1 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena A. FAILURE: Second stage failed to separate. Mass: 2,025 kg.

Missile Defense Alarm System.


24 May 1960 Midas 2 Launch Site: Cape Canaveral . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena A. Mass: 2,300 kg. Perigee: 473 km. Apogee: 494 km. Inclination: 33.0 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System.


20 December 1960 Discoverer 19 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. Mass: 1,060 kg. Perigee: 186 km. Apogee: 359 km. Inclination: 83.4 deg.

Tested IR sensors for Midas program; did not carry camera or film capsule.


18 February 1961 Discoverer 21 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Thor Agena B. Mass: 1,110 kg. Perigee: 212 km. Apogee: 458 km. Inclination: 80.6 deg.

Tested IR sensors for Midas program; did not carry camera or film capsule.


12 July 1961 Midas 3 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,600 kg. Perigee: 3,343 km. Apogee: 3,540 km. Inclination: 91.2 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System.


21 October 1961 Midas 4 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,800 kg. Perigee: 3,482 km. Apogee: 3,763 km. Inclination: 95.9 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System. Deployed subsatellites.


09 April 1962 Midas 5 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,860 kg. Perigee: 2,784 km. Apogee: 3,405 km. Inclination: 86.7 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System.


17 December 1962 TRS 4 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. FAILURE: Failure.
09 May 1963 Midas 7 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 2,000 kg. Perigee: 3,607 km. Apogee: 3,676 km. Inclination: 87.3 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System.


13 June 1963 Midas 8 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. FAILURE: Failure. Mass: 2,000 kg.

Missile Defense Alarm System. Carried ERS-7, ERS-8 subsatellites.


18 July 1963 Midas 9 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 2,000 kg. Perigee: 3,672 km. Apogee: 3,725 km. Inclination: 88.4 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System. Did not eject ERS 10 subsatellite.


09 June 1966 Midas 10 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: SLV-3 Atlas / Agena D. Mass: 2,000 kg. Perigee: 154 km. Apogee: 3,678 km. Inclination: 90.0 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System. Left in transfer orbit.


19 August 1966 Midas 11 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: SLV-3 Atlas / Agena D. Mass: 2,000 kg. Perigee: 3,658 km. Apogee: 3,708 km. Inclination: 89.7 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System.


05 October 1966 Midas 12 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: SLV-3 Atlas / Agena D. Mass: 2,000 kg. Perigee: 3,656 km. Apogee: 3,721 km. Inclination: 90.0 deg.

Missile Defense Alarm System.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .