Explorer 19


Explorer 19
Explorer 19 - 01.jpg
Explorer 19 - 01 obrit
Mission typeEarth science
COSPAR ID1963-053A
SATCAT no.714
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerLangley Research Center
Launch mass7.7 kilograms (17 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateDecember 19, 1963, 18:49:25 (1963-12-19UTC18:49:25Z) UTC
RocketScout X-4
Launch siteVandenberg LA-3
End of mission
Decay dateMay 10, 1981 (1981-05-11)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude590 kilometers (370 mi)
Apogee altitude2,394 kilometers (1,488 mi)
Period115.9 minutes
EpochDecember 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.[1] It was identical to Explorer 9.[2]

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 aluminum surface were 5.1 centimetres (2.0 in) diameter dots of white paint for thermal control. The sphere was packed in a tube 21.6 centimetres (8.5 in) in diameter and 48.3 centimetres (19.0 in) 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 aluminum 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.[3]

Explorer 19's launch vehicle, a Scout X-4, placed it into a slightly lower than planned orbit.[2]


  1. ^ Smith, Woody. "Explorer Spacecraft Series". NASA History Division. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Explorer:AD". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  3. ^ "NSSDCA/COSPAR ID: 1961-004A". NASA. Retrieved April 9, 2019. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External links