Category. Statistic.
Launch vehicle. Thor DM-21 Ablestar 313 (AB-007).
Launch date. 22 February 1961, 03:45 UTC.
Launch site. Cape Canaveral LC-17B.
Ceased operations. No.
Owner(s). US Navy/NRL.
Major contractor(s) . Navy and Naval Research Laboratory.
Is it still in orbit. Burnt up on 30 March 1961.
Launch mass. 26 kilograms (57 lb).
Nationality(s). American.
Satellite type. Ionospheric.

LOFTI-1 before launch.

LOFTI-1 was a 26-kilogram (57 lb) spacecraft, which was powered by six groups of solar cells charging a nickel-cadmium battery. It ended up in a low Earth orbit with a perigee of 167 kilometres (104 mi), an apogee of 1,002 kilometres (623 mi), and 28.3 degrees of inclination. It had an orbital period of 96.4 minutes. Due to the low perigee of its orbit, LOFTI-1 decayed quickly, and reentered the atmosphere on 30 March 1961, less than 37 days after launch. Despite being in the wrong orbit and operating for less time than had been planned, some useful data was returned from the mission. Together with data returned by later satellites, the data returned by LOFTI-1 proved that very low frequency signals were not suitable for satellite communications with submarines.

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