From: Michael Waterman (
Date: Thu Feb 23 2006 - 13:10:19 EST

  • Next message: Jonathan McDowell: "Re: EROS"

    Flight 11 July 1963
    Allison Division of General Motors has delivered a compact
    deployable Fresnel solar reflector to the US Air Force Aeronautical
    Systems Division. The reflector will be placed in orbit by Space
    Systems Division (AFSC) later this year  ......
    The shot named EROS (experimental reflector orbital shot) .....
    (photo and details)
    Aviation Week Nov 18 1963 has an advert by Allison with
     .... Air Force succesfully launched its Project EROS ...
    New Scientist 5 Dec 1963 (summarised)
    USAF 4 ft diam solar collector was launched early
    November ...  fresnel ....
    Aviation Week 25 November 1963  (summarised)
    Thirty day flight of a 4.5ft solar collector ..... Air Force
    The collector flew as a piggyback experiment, but would not disclose
    the date of the launch, or identify the launch vehicle.
    ..developed at the Wright-Patterson AFB Aero-Propulsion Lanoratory
    and was built by the Allison Div of General Motors Corp.
    Flight 12 Dec 1963
    The Allison Division of General Motors announced on November 22
    ....... the collector was launched into orbit earlier this month
    ....... remained in orbit for 30 days .......
    (good description, consistent with others)
    Clearly "announced Nov 22", "launch earlier this month" and
    "remained in orbit for 30 days" are inconsistent.
    The above clips suggest a launch no later than 15 November 1963.
    US military launches Oct 1 to Nov 15 are:
    63039 Oct 17 Vela Hotel : in high orbit.
    63041 Oct 25     : LEO, all 4 bits decayed within 4 days.
    63042 Oct 29     : LEO, A ht=279:345km decay 64 Jan
                            B ht=285:585km decay 65 May.
                            C fragment
    My suggestion is that EROS = 63042B; the RAE tables list this as;
        Octagon? 60kg?  0.3m long? 0.9m diam?
     presumably guessing it is similar to 63025B = Hitch-hiker 1
    Mike Waterman
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