1965 65 C

Allen Thomson (thomsona@netcom.com)
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 05:33:48 -0800

Comes forth Jim Varney <jvarney@mail2.quiknet.com>
on the Subject: 65- 65C
and sayeth (various snips):

>Leo Barhorst wrote:

>>65- 65C is Dodecapole 2, one of a number of payloads placed in orbit by 
>>a Thor Ablestar booster launched from Vandenberg AFB.  I also observed this 
>>object last May:

>I have been able to find very little about the purpose and character of this
>satellite.  A guess from its name that the mission is related to
>magnetic field research??  Anybody know more about it?

No, I'd guess it was a space surveillance test object intended to
calibrate ground-based radar and maybe opitcal sensors.

The TRW Space Log 1957-1991 has this to say about the 1965-65 missions:

Object            Sponsor/Name/Notes
1965 65 A:        USN/None/None
1965 65 B         USN/SURCAL/Failed to separate from 2nd stage; failed to
                             deploy 200 ft antenna
1965 65 C         USN/SURCAL/"dodecahedron"; extended 12 25 ft antennas
1965 65 E         USN/SURCAL/"tempsat"; 14 inch sphere painted dull black
1965 65 F         USN/None/navigation; augmented USN system
1965 65 H         USN/SURCAL/14 inch white sphere to check SPASUR system
1965 65 L         USN/SURCAL/rectangular package with beacon transmitter

   All in all, it seems clear that this was a U.S. Navy multipurpose
mission to orbit a TRANSIT-related satellite plus several other
objects meant to calibrate USN space surveillance systems.  What I
find interesting about the TRW information is that it clearly indicates
that the USN at the time had or was contemplating an optical system
(in addition to the VHF NAVSPASUR system). The inclusion of white
and dull black 14-in spheres also shows that they were trying to
see how optical systems would work against targets with various visual
magnitudes.  The dodecahedron flashes might, to speculate (so to speak),
be due to corner reflectors or mirrors