|Mission type||Earth science|
|Manufacturer||Langley Research Center|
|Launch mass||7.7 kilograms (17 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||December 19, 1963, 18:49:25UTC|
|Launch site||Vandenberg LA-3|
|End of mission|
|Decay date||May 10, 1981|
|Perigee altitude||590 kilometers (370 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||2,394 kilometers (1,488 mi)|
|Epoch||December 19, 1963|
Explorer 19 was an American satellite launched on December 19, 1963, as part of NASA's Explorers program. It was the third of six identical Explorer satellites launched to study air density and composition, and the second to reach orbit. It was identical to Explorer 9.
Explorer 9 was still operational when Explorer 19 was launched, allowing simultaneous readings to be taken and compared. The spacecraft consisted of alternating layers of aluminium foil and Mylar polyester film. Uniformly distributed over the aluminium surface were 5.1 cm-diameter dots of white paint for thermal control. The sphere was packed in a tube 21.6 cm in diameter and 48.3 cm long and mounted in the nose of the fourth stage of the launch vehicle. Upon separation of the fourth stage, the sphere was inflated by a nitrogen gas bottle, and a separation spring ejected it out into its own orbit. The two hemispheres of aluminium foil were separated with a gap of Mylar at the spacecraft's equator and served as the antenna. A 136 MHz, 15 mW beacon was carried for tracking purposes, but the beacon failed on the first orbit and the SAO Baker-Nunn camera network had to be relied upon for tracking. Power was supplied by solar cells and rechargeable batteries.
- NASA FACTS - EXPLORER XIX. (PDF)
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