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Transit 2A



The two Transit program objectives were (1) to develop and demonstrate equipment to provide a reliable means of fixing the position of surface craft, submarines, and aircraft--anywhere and in any weather--more precisely, and (2) to provide more accurate maritime and aerial navigation in any weather than currently available. The Transit 2A spacecraft had as its instrument complement the following: cosmic-noise radiometer, transmitters, infrared scanner to measure satellite rotation before despin was initiated, and temperature sensors. The power supply was a nickel-cadmium battery, recharged by solar cells. The transmitters operated at the following frequencies: 54, 162, 216, and 324 MHz.

Launch took place from Cape Canaveral on a Thor booster on 22 June 1960 at 6:00 UT. The SOLRAD 1 satellite was mounted on top of the Transit 2A satellite, as pictured, to be separated at deployment. Image credit: National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Alternate Names

  • 00045
  • 1960 Eta 1
  • Transit2A

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1960-06-22
Launch Vehicle: Thor
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 101 kg

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense-Department of the Navy (United States)


  • Navigation/Global Positioning
  • Space Physics

Additional Information

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

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