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The MIDAS 2 (Missile Defense Alarm System) satellite was an earth-orbiting satellite designed to measure IR background and define IR sources. In addition, the satellite carried experiments to measure cosmic radiation, atmospheric density, thermal emission and reflected solar radiation from the earth, and micrometeorites. A plasma probe was included too. The spacecraft weighed 2268 kg (including the second stage) and was chemical-battery powered. IR radiation data were received for the lifetime of the battery pack, which powered the final transmission on May 26, 1960.

Alternate Names

  • 00043
  • 1960 Zeta 1
  • MIDAS2
  • Missile Defense Alarm System 2

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1960-05-24
Launch Vehicle: Atlas
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 2300 kg

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense-Department of the Air Force (United States)


  • Surveillance and Other Military
  • Space Physics
  • Astronomy

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



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