Discoverer 33


Discoverer 33
Mission typeOptical reconnaissance
OperatorUS Air Force/NRO
Mission durationFailed to orbit
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeCorona KH-2
Launch mass1,150 kilograms (2,540 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date23 October 1961, 19:23 (1961-10-23UTC19:23Z) UTC
RocketThor DM-21 Agena-B 329
Launch siteVandenberg LC-75-3-5
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth

Discoverer 33, also known as Corona 9026, was an American optical reconnaissance satellite which was lost in a launch failure in 1961. It was the eighth of ten Corona KH-2 satellites, based on the Agena-B.[1]

The launch of Discoverer 33 occurred at 19:23 UTC on 23 October 1961. A Thor DM-21 Agena-B rocket was used, flying from Launch Complex 75-3-5 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.[2] The launch ended in failure after the Agena suffered a hydraulics system malfunction that led to premature main engine shutdown.[3]

Discoverer 33 was intended to have operated in a low Earth orbit. It had a mass of 1,150 kilograms (2,540 lb),[4] and was equipped with a panoramic camera with a focal length of 61 centimetres (24 in), which had a maximum resolution of 7.6 metres (25 ft).[5] It would have recorded images onto 70-millimeter (2.8 in) film, and returned this in a Satellite Recovery Vehicle at the end of its mission. The Satellite Recovery Vehicle carried by Discoverer 33 was SRV-553.


  1. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "KH-2 Corona". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  3. ^ Lindborg, Christina; Pike, John (9 September 2000). "KH-3 Corona". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  4. ^ Wade, Mark. "KH-3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  5. ^ "Corona". Mission and Spacecraft Library. NASA. Archived from the original on 3 October 2007. Retrieved 30 June 2010.