SP-4012 NASA HISTORICAL DATA BOOK: VOLUME III
PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS 1969-1978

 

 

Table 4-166. LAGEOS Characteristics

 

Also called:

Laser Geodynamics Satellite

Date of launch (location):

May 4, 1976 (WTR)

Launch vehicle:

Delta 2913

Weight (kg):

411

Shape:

Spherical (covered with 426 laser retroreflectors, giving it the appearance of a golf ball)

Dimensions (m):

0.6 diameter

Power source:

Passive

Responsible

NASA center: Marshall Space Flight Center

Prime contractor:

Bendix Corp., satellite assembly

Perkin-Elmer Corp, laser retroflectors

Project manager:

Charles W. Johnson

Project manager, orbital phase:

Chris C. Stephanides, Goddard Space Flight Center

Project scientist:

David Smith, Goddard Space Flight Center

Objectives:

Over a period of many years from a 5900-kilometer orbit, demonstrate the feasibility of using a ground-to-satellite laser ranging system to monitor motion of earth's tectonic plates, to monitor geodetic reference systems, to determine more accurately universal time, and to collect data on the time-varying behavior of earth's polar positions.

Special feature:

Laser Retrotlectors (426)

Results:

Successful.

Reference: NASA Hq., "Project Lageos Press Kit," Press Release 76-67, Apr. 15, 1976; Victor Seigel, "Earth's Shifting Surface," ASA 80-3 (NASA's About Space and Aeronautics series), Mar. 1980; and Robert L. Spencer, "Lageos-A Geodynamics Tool in the Making," Journal of Geological Education 25 (Mar. 1977): 38-42.


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