Explorer 13 (S-55A)
|Harvard designation||1961 χ1|
|Mission duration||3 days|
|Launch mass||86 kg (190 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||August 25, 1961, 19:26UTC|
|Launch site||Wallops LA-3|
|End of mission|
|Last contact||August 28, 1961|
|Perigee altitude||125 km (78 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||1,164 km (723 mi)|
|Epoch||August 25, 1961|
Explorer 13 was injected into a geocentric orbit of moderate eccentricity using a Scout launch vehicle. The objectives of the flight were to test vehicle performance and guidance and to investigate the nature and effects of micrometeoroids on the spacecraft systems. The scientific instrumentation consisted of cadmium sulfide-cell, wire-grid, piezoelectric, pressurized-cell, and foil-type micrometeoroid detectors.
The spacecraft was a 1.93 m × 0.61 m (6.3 ft × 2.0 ft) cylinder. The orbit was lower than planned, and the spacecraft reentered the atmosphere on August 28, 1961, after only slightly more than 2 days in orbit. No penetrations were recorded by this satellite during experiment operations. This aided in determination of useful flux limits for subsequent experiment design.
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