Program 437AP: A Sub-orbital Corona-Derived Satellite Inspector

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <>
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2016 10:13:21 -0500
The Program 437 direct-ascent ASAT of the mid-1960s is well known, but it only came to my attention a few months ago. I
was fascinated to learn that there was a variant called Program 437AP, that was designed to image Soviet satellites. It
has long been known that this sub-orbital satellite inspector used components of the orbital Corona spacecraft. Over the
holidays, I re-read the Program 437AP history, and began to realize that this had been more than a minor modification of
the re-entry vehicle of the ASAT. It was a sub-orbital Corona-like vehicle, without the Agena section. 

I found little more than passing reference to this on the web, so I decided to investigate the likely size and
configuration of the satellite inspector, and analyze one of its flight tests, all of which I have documented here:

There remains much more to learn about this unique vehicle, and the report raises a number of questions in that regard.
I intend to make revisions, if and when better information becomes available. If you have historical information to
share, or alternative interpretations of the available facts, I would be pleased to hear from you, on or off-list.

Ted Molczan

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Received on Wed Jan 06 2016 - 09:14:26 UTC

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