Zarya - Soviet, Russian and International Spaceflight
carousel image
 
Launches and Orbital Operations


Tyneside, UK
2017 Jun 24
Saturday, Day 175

Maintained by:







Recent Years:










Earlier Times:









Primary source of unclassified orbital elements

Orbital elements based on amateur observations

1960 - Launches to Orbit and Beyond

Listed are all launches, irrespective of outcome, that were irretrievably committed to flight towards orbit or intended to accelerate the payload to escape velocity.

Launch times are in UTC and are from the launching agency or estimated by 'walking back' along the ground track to the launch site. The PRIME source of orbit data and decay information is SpaceTrack. A minority of orbits is based on amateur observations using visual and radio techniques. Occasionally, early orbit data are published by satellite owners and may cover periods before SpaceTrack lists a new object. In extreme cases, orbits are estimated from public data.

Apogee and perigee are measured against the Earth's mean equatorial radius - 6378.145 km. Care should be exercised when comparing with other published orbits even when the source is shown as SpaceTrack.

Web sites may link to specific launches by pointing to the page URL followed by the three digit launch number, eg - http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/Launches/Launches.php?year=1960#001


Failed to reach orbit
Thor Agena A
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Feb 4, 18:51
Discoverer 9 (Corona 9006/KH-1)
US film recovery reconnaissance satellite. Lost when launch vehicle upper stage failed.


Failed to reach orbit
Thor Agena A
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Feb 19, 20:15
Discoverer 10 (Corona 9007/KH-1)
US film recovery reconnaissance satellite. Lost when launch vehicle destroyed by Range Safety soon after lift-off.


Failed to reach orbit
Atlas Agena A
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Feb 26, 17:25
MIDAS 1
Experimental satellite of the Missile Defense and Early Warning System equipped with infrared sensors and intended to work in conjunction with the land-based BMEWS system. Lost when the launch vehicle second stage failed to separate.


1960-001
Thor Able IV
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Mar 11, 13:00
Pioneer 5 (P-2)
1960 α 1
27
in space
Interplanetary spacecraft launched towards Venus. Data was received until April 30, 1960, after which signal strength was too weak. Final reported signal detection was by Jodrell Bank 1960 Jun 26 at a distance of 36.2 million km.
In heliocentric orbit


Failed to reach orbit
Juno II
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Mar 23, 13:35
Explorer (S-46)
Science satellite to analyse electron and proton radiation energies. Lost when the launch vehicle failed.


1960-002
Thor Able II
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Apr 1, 11:40
TIROS 1 (A-1)
1960 β 2
29
in space
Television Infrared Observation Satellite meteorological satellite experimenting with techniques for obtaining TV images of cloud patterns. Ceased operation 1960 Jun 16 through an electrical failure.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
desc node
local time
1960 Apr 8, 08:5071000.004569075499.2448.4114313:54


1960-003
Thor Ablestar
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Apr 13, 12:02
Transit 1B
1960 γ 2
31
Re-entered 1967 Oct 5
First generation, experimental navigation satellite.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 May 11, 10:2569360.026537474295.8251.280
Dummy Satellite
1960 γ 3
33
Re-entered 1960 Jul 17
Designed to simulate the mass of the upcoming GRAB/Solrad signals intelligence (SIGINT) programme in order to test dual payload launch. GRAB (Galactic Radiation and Background) was a cover name for a project of the US Naval Laboratory.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Apr 25, 00:0768750.030328870594.5551.22311


1960-004
Thor Agena A
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Apr 15, 20:30
Discoverer 11 (Corona 9008/KH-1)
1960 δ 1
32
Re-entered 1960 Apr 26
US film recovery reconnaissance satellite. Recovery system failed to operate at the correct time and re-entry occurred in the wrong location.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Apr 16, 06:4367630.032316760392.2580.41149


Failed to reach orbit
Vostok-L 8K72
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
1960 Apr 16, 16:07
Luna (E-3)
Lunar photographic spacecraft similar to Luna-3. Lost when the launch vehicle first stage failed.


Failed to reach orbit
Thor Delta
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 May 13, 09:16
Echo (A-10)
30.5 m diameter mylar polyester film balloon. intended to be used as a passive radio reflector. Lost when the launch vehicle was destroyed aftter the second stage attitude control system failed.


1960-005
Vostok 8K72
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
1960 May 15, 00:00
Korabl Sputnik (Vostok-1KP)
1960 ε 1
34
Re-entered 1962 Sep 5
First launch of a Korabl Sputnik in preparation for piloted spaceflight, recovery of the cabin was not intended so it carried no heat shielding. 1960 May 19, 23:52 UTC, retrofire occurred. The guidance system had oriented the spacecraft 180 degrees away from the required attitude so the spacecraft ascended to a higher orbit (as listed above). Otherwise the flight went as expected. The original orbit was reported to have been approx 320 x 360 km. After the retro-rocket firing, the cabin separated and became catalogued as 1960 ε 3, NORAD 36. Catalogued by NORAD with alternate name Sputnik 4.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Jun 17, 05:2968560.027229166594.1664.8979


1960-006
Atlas Agena A
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 May 24, 17:36
MIDAS 2
1960 ζ 1
43
Re-entered 1974 Feb 7
Experimental satellite of the Missile Defense and Early Warning System equipped with infrared sensors and intended to work in conjunction with the land-based BMEWS system. A communications failure meant that only limited data was returned.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 May 27, 08:0768780.002648251794.6033.00161


1960-007
Thor Ablestar
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Jun 22, 05:54
Transit 2A
1960 η 1
45
in space
First generation, experimental navigation satellite, also used for geodesy.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Jun 25, 01:0072150.02916261047101.6566.77234
Solrad 1 (GRAB 1)
1960 η 2
46
in space
Signals intelligence satellite from the US Naval Laboratory. Also carried the Solrad (Solar Radiation) package of instruments to make observations of the solar hydrogen Lyman-alpha and soft X-ray emissions.
Orbit details unavailable or awaited


Failed to reach orbit
Thor Agena A
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Jun 29, 22:00
Discoverer 12 (Corona R&D)
Test of US film recovery reconnaissance satellite designed to verify the parachute and recovery system. Lost when launch vehicle upper stage failed.


Failed to reach orbit
Vostok 8K72
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
1960 Jul 28, 09:31
Korabl Sputnik (Vostok 1K №1)
First launch of Vostok prototype. The launch vehicle exploded, destroying the spacecraft and killing two dogs - Chaika and Lisichka.


1960-008
Thor Agena A
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Aug 10, 20:37
Discoverer 13 (Corona R&D)
1960 θ 1
48
Re-entered 1960 Nov 14
Recovered
Test of US film recovery reconnaissance satellite designed to verify the parachute and recovery system. No cameras or film were carried. Re-entry vehicle successfully retrieved from the Pacific Ocean after air crew missed a mid-air snatch.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Aug 11, 18:0168480.031925268894.0082.85151


1960-009
Thor Delta
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Aug 12, 09:39
Echo 1 (A-11)
1960 ι 1
49
Re-entered 1968 May 24
30.5 m diameter mylar polyester film balloon. used as a passive radio reflector.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Aug 12, 22:5279840.008215401671118.3247.284


1960-010
Thor Agena A
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Aug 18, 19:57
Discoverer 14 (Corona 9009/KH-1)
1960 κ 1
54
Re-entered 1960 Sep 16
Recovered
US film recovery reconnaissance satellite. Re-entry vehicle successfully recovered.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Aug 18, 22:3268720.045917880994.4879.65167


Failed to reach orbit
Thor Ablestar
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Aug 18, 19:58
Courier 1A
Experimental military communications satellite. Lost when the launch vehicle second stage failed.


1960-011
Vostok 8K72
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
1960 Aug 19, 08:44
Korabl Sputnik 2 (Vostok-1K №2)
1960 λ 1
55
Re-entered 1960 Aug 20
Recovered
Carried the dogs Strelka and Belka, plus grey rabbit, rats, mice, flies, plants, fungi, microscopic water plants, and seeds. Returned telemetry and TV images showing the dogs' physical condition. Strelka and Belka became the first living creatures to orbit the Earth and return safely. Catalogued by NORAD with alternate name Sputnik 5.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Aug 19, 10:0666890.004428134090.7464.65131


1960-012
Thor Agena A
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Sep 13, 22:14
Discoverer 15 (Corona 9010/KH-1)
1960 μ 1
57
Re-entered 1960 Oct 18
US film recovery reconnaissance satellite. Re-entry vehicle lost when it sank in the Pacific Ocean.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Sep 14, 00:4868560.040520175694.1780.90162


Failed to reach orbit
Atlas Able
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Sep 25, 15:13
Pioneer P-30
Lunar orbiter equipped with a range of science and technology experiments. Lost when the launch vehicle second stage failed.


1960-013
Thor Ablestar
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Oct 4, 17:50
Courier 1B
1960 ν 1
58
in space
Experimental military communications satellite.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Oct 6, 13:5774680.01969431236107.0428.3056


Failed to reach orbit
Molniya 8K78
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
1960 Oct 10, 14:27
Mars (1M № 1)
Mars photographic spacecraft. Lost when the launch vehicle lost a steering control sensor and failed to reach orbit.


Failed to reach orbit
Atlas Agena A
Point Arguello, California, USA
1960 Oct 11, 20:33
SAMOS 1 (E1-1)
Satellite And Missile Obervation System - photographic reconnaissance satellite using TV relay. Lost when the launch vehicle failed.


Failed to reach orbit
Molniya 8K78
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
1960 Oct 14, 13:51
Mars (1M № 2)
Mars photographic spacecraft. Lost when the third stage of the launch vehicle failed to ignite.


Failed to reach orbit
Thor Agena B
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Oct 26, 20:26
Discoverer 16 (Corona 9011/KH-2)
US film recovery reconnaissance satellite. Satellite lost when the satellite failed to separate from the upper stage of the launch vehicle and re-entered the atmosphere immediately.


1960-014
Juno II
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Nov 3, 05:23
Explorer 8 (S-30)
1960 ξ 1
60
Re-entered 2012 Mar 28
Science satellite to measure atmospheric composition in the ionosphere.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Nov 11, 01:0677310.12124162290112.7549.9873


1960-015
Thor Agena B
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Nov 12, 20:43
Discoverer 17 (Corona 9012/KH-2)
1960 ο 1
61
Re-entered 1960 Dec 29
Recovered
US film recovery reconnaissance satellite. Re-entry vehicle recovered 1960 Nov 14 but a film feed problem meant most of it was lost. Also carried an experiment to expose human tissue to space radiation.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Nov 14, 04:1669600.057418398196.3181.86159


1960-016
Thor Delta
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Nov 23, 11:13
TIROS 2
1960 π 1
63
Re-entered 2014 May 18
Television Infrared Observation Satellite meteorological satellite experimenting with techniques for obtaining TV images of cloud patterns. Ceased operation 1961 Jan 22.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
desc node
local time
1960 Nov 28, 05:4170540.009660874498.2848.5735114:16


Failed to reach orbit
Thor Ablestar
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Nov 30, 19:50
Transit 3A
Experimental navigation satellite. Lost when the launch vehicle failed.
GRAB 2
Signals intelligence satellite from the US Naval Laboratory.


1960-017
Vostok 8K72
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
1960 Dec 1, 07:30
Korabl Sputnik 3 (Vostok-1K №3)
1960 ρ 1
65
Re-entered 1960 Dec 2
Carried the dogs Pchelka and Mushka plus other animals, insects, and plants. Retro-fire was 1960 Dec 2, 07:15 UTC. The spacecraft was burned up in the lower atmosphere after the retro-rocket failed to shut down and caused the re-entry angle to be too steep. Catalogued by NORAD with alternate name Sputnik 6.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Dec 1, 13:1565820.005017123788.5865.0067


Failed to reach orbit
Scout X-1
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, USA
1960 Dec 4, 21:14
Explorer (S-56)
Science satellite for atmospheric density measurements. Lost when the launch vehicle failed.


1960-018
Thor Agena B
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Dec 7, 20:20
Discoverer 18 (Corona 9013/KH-2)
1960 σ 1
67
Re-entered 1961 Apr 2
Recovered
US film recovery reconnaissance satellite. Re-entry vehicle recovered 1960 Dec 10.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Dec 9, 03:0168270.032023166793.5781.48174


Failed to reach orbit
Atlas Able
Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
1960 Dec 15, 09:10
Pioneer P-31
Lunar orbiter equipped with a range of science and technology experiments including spacecraft manouevring, lost when the launch vehicle exploded after 68s.


1960-019
Thor Agena B
Vandenberg AFB, California, USA
1960 Dec 20, 20:32
Discoverer 19 (Corona RM-1)
1960 τ 1
68
Re-entered 1961 Jan 23
Instrumented Agena-B rocket stage testing sensors for the MIDAS missile early warning satellite programme. Also used to demonstrate the Agena re-start capability.

epoch (UTC)         
s-m axis
( km )
ecc    perigee
( km )
apogee
( km )
period
( min )
incl 
( ° )
ω  
( ° )
1960 Dec 21, 03:4967960.031120662992.9283.40172


Failed to reach orbit
Vostok 8K72K
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
1960 Dec 22, 07:45
Korabl Sputnik (Vostok 1K №4)
Spacecraft separated while the launch vehicle third stage was still firing, and the cabin landed in Siberia. The animal container's ejector mechanism failed to fire but two dogs, Kometa and Shutka, survived a hard landing.


Copyright © Robert Christy, all rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited