Vela 1A


Vela 1A
Vela 1A
COSPAR ID1963-039A
SATCAT no.00674
Mission duration6 months (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass150 kilograms (330 lb)
Power90 W
Start of mission
Launch dateOctober 17, 1963, 02:24 (1963-10-17UTC02:24Z)
RocketAtlas-LV3 Agena-D
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-13
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeHighly Elliptical
Perigee altitude101,081 kilometres (62,809 mi)
Apogee altitude116,582 kilometres (72,441 mi)
Period6,486.2 minutes
EpochOctober 17, 1963 (1963-10-17)
← None
Vela 1B →

Vela 1A (or Vela 1) was a military satellite developed to detect nuclear detonations to monitor compliance with the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty by the Soviet Union.


Vela 1A was launched on October 17, 1963 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, by an Atlas-Agena launch vehicle. Vela 1A was launched along with Vela 1B and with ERS 12.[1]


Vela 1A was spin-stabilized 124-kg satellite comprising the first launch in a series of six Vela launches. Together with its twin Vela 1B, their objectives were to monitor nuclear weapons explosions in space and to study x-rays, gamma-rays, neutrons, and charged particles as the satellites passed through interplanetary space, the bow shock, the magnetosheath, and the magnetotail.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Wade, Mark. "Vela". Astronautix. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  2. ^ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. "Vela 1A". Retrieved June 1, 2018.