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LOFTI-I satellite

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Display Status:

This object is on display in the Space Science exhibition at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Collection Item Summary:

Engineering model for the first of a series of LOw Frequency Trans-Ionospheric (LOFTI) radio satellites. LOFTI satellites were one of the very early orbiting spacecraft intended to study the propagation of radio waves through and by the ionosphere. The experiment was also designed to determine whether low frequency radio signals penetrated water reliably enough to be used for communications with submerged submarines. The first in the series, LOFTI-1 was launched on a Thor-Able rocket in 1961; the scheduled separation from the Transit-3B satellite to which it was attached failed. Much valuable data on VLF and VHF transionospheric transmission was obtained in spite of the satellite's resulting shortened time in orbit. This artifact was transferred to NASM from the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory in 1975.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Manufacturer

Naval Research Laboratory

Credit Line

Transferred from the Naval Research Laboratory

Materials

Polished aluminum sphere, solar arrays

Dimensions

  • Overall: 1 ft. 8 in. wide, 18 lb. (50.8cm, 8.2kg)
  • Other (antennae): 3 ft. long (91.44cm)

See more items in

National Air and Space Museum Collection

Country of Origin

United States of America

Type

SPACECRAFT-Unmanned

Inventory Number

A19760022000