Vela 1B


Vela 1B
Vela 1B
COSPAR ID1963-039C
SATCAT no.00692
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[1]
RegimeHighly Elliptical
Semi-major axis115,746.0 kilometres (71,921.2 mi)
Perigee altitude42,766.0 kilometres (26,573.6 mi)
Apogee altitude175,984.2 kilometres (109,351.5 mi)
Period6,531.6 minutes
EpochJune 3, 2018 (2018-06-03)
← Vela 1A
Vela 2A →

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


Vela 1B was launched on October 17, 1963 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, by an Atlas-Agena launch vehicle. Vela 1B was launched along with Vela 1A and with ERS-12.[2]


Vela 1B was one of two spin-stabilized 134 kilograms (295 lb) satellites comprising the first launch in a series of 6 Vela launches. 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. The satellite operated in either a real-time mode (one data frame/sec) or a memory store mode (one data frame every 256 seconds). The spacecraft was operated in the real-time mode about 40% of the time and in the store mode for the rest of the time until the next Vela launch. At this time, tracking priority was given to the new spacecraft, and the older spacecraft was operated in the store mode only. There had been less and less data coverage of these satellites with each succeeding launch.[3]


  • Height: 1.40 metres (4.6 ft)
  • Propulsion: BE-3A AKM
  • Stabilization: 120 rpm

See also


  1. ^ "VELA 1". Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  2. ^ Wade, Mark. "Vela". Astronautix. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  3. ^ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. "Vela 1B". Retrieved June 3, 2018. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External links

  • Vela 1. Heavens-Above
  • Live Real Time Satellite Tracking.