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astronautix.com Samos


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

First generation photo surveillance; return of camera and film by capsule; program still partially classified, evidently due to embarassment. Samos satellites carried one of four payloads:

None of the satellite versions worked particularly well, in contrast to the success the CIA was having at the same time with its Corona project. SAMOS was quietly wound up without ever having produced any significant results.
Specification

Total Mass: 1,900 kg.


Samos Chronology


11 October 1960 Samos 1 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena A. FAILURE: Second stage failure. Mass: 1,845 kg.

First generation photo surveillance; radio relay of images; Satellite and Missile Observation Satellite.


31 January 1961 Samos 2 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena A. Mass: 1,900 kg. Perigee: 474 km. Apogee: 557 km. Inclination: 97.4 deg.

First generation photo surveillance; radio relay of images; micrometeoroid impact data. Poor results.


09 September 1961 Samos 3 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. FAILURE: Exploded on launch pad. Mass: 1,890 kg.

First generation photo surveillance; radio relay of images.


22 November 1961 Samos 4 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. FAILURE: Failure. Mass: 1,860 kg.

First generation photo surveillance; return of camera and film by capsule; SAMOS type satellite.


22 December 1961 Samos 5 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,860 kg. Perigee: 187 km. Apogee: 310 km. Inclination: 89.6 deg.

First generation photo surveillance; return of camera and film by capsule; SAMOS type satellite. Reached orbit but failed to deorbit and be recovered.


07 March 1962 Samos 6 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,860 kg. Perigee: 236 km. Apogee: 686 km. Inclination: 90.9 deg.

First generation photo surveillance; return of camera and film by capsule; SAMOS type satellite. Failed to return camera and film. Samos film return project cancelled; remaining 4 cameras placed in warehouse and later used on KH-6 Lanyard.


26 April 1962 Samos 7 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,588 kg.

Second generation photo surveillance; radio relay of images; Satellite and Missile Observation Satellite. Poor results.


17 June 1962 Samos 8 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,860 kg. Perigee: 198 km. Apogee: 198 km. Inclination: 96.2 deg.

First generation photo surveillance; radio relay of images; Satellite and Missile Observation Satellite. Poor results.


18 July 1962 Samos 9 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,860 kg. Perigee: 184 km. Apogee: 234 km. Inclination: 96.0 deg.

First generation photo surveillance; radio relay of images; Satellite and Missile Observation Satellite. Poor results.


05 August 1962 Samos 10 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,860 kg. Perigee: 201 km. Apogee: 203 km. Inclination: 96.2 deg.

Second generation photo surveillance; radio relay of images; Satellite and Missile Observation Satellite. Poor results.


11 November 1962 Samos 11 Launch Site: Vandenberg . Launch Vehicle: Atlas LV-3A / Agena B. Mass: 1,860 kg. Perigee: 128 km. Apogee: 292 km. Inclination: 96.0 deg.

Second generation photo surveillance; radio relay of images; Satellite and Missile Observation Satellite. Poor results. SAMOS project cancelled.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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