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SAMOS 5 was a first generation, low resolution photo surveillance spacecraft launched by the US Air Force from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard an Atlas Agena-B rocket. This Satellite and Missile Observation Satellite reached orbit but failed to deorbit and return its camera and film capsule and be recovered. The mission was a failure.

Alternate Names

  • 00217
  • 1961 Alpha Lambda 1
  • SAMOS5

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1961-12-22
Launch Vehicle: Atlas
Launch Site: Point Arguello, United States
Mass: 1860 kg

Funding Agency

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


  • Surveillance and Other Military

Additional Information

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

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