Satellite, Explorer 9, Balloon Replica
- NASA, Langley
- This may be a flight backup for the balloon payload from the Explorer 9 satellite. The object is a deflated balloon made up of laminated layers of aluminized mylar-polyester film, whose surface is marked with nodules. The Explorer 9 mission was intended to study low orbit atmospheric density by measuring the decay of the satellite's orbit as a result of drag. The inflated sphere was sufficiently reflective so that it could be tracked with optical instruments as well as by radar, providing sufficent data to estimate atmospheric density.
- The balloon was, in essence, a target to allow ground-based radio and optical telescopes to study its motion. It was launched from Wallops Station Virginia on a Scout rocket on February 16, 1961. The balloon successfully inflated once it was in orbit. The radio beacon that was to mark its progress failed in the course of the first orbit. The satellite stayed aloft until April 9, 1964.
- The balloon was transferred to NASM from NASA in March 1971.
- Credit Line
- Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Inventory Number
- Restrictions & Rights
- Usage conditions apply
- SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Parts & Structural Components
- Aluminum, Mylar (Polyester), Adhesive
- Storage (Rehoused on an aluminum pallet with one other object): 183.8 × 123.8 × 116.8cm, 95.3kg (72 3/8 × 48 3/4 × 46 in., 210lb.)
- Country of Origin
- United States of America
- See more items in
- National Air and Space Museum Collection
- National Air and Space Museum
- Record ID
- Usage of Metadata (Object Detail Text)
- Not determined
- GUID (Link to Original Record)