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LOFTI 2A was a US military research satellite launched by a Thor Agena D rocket. It contained VLF experiments. LOFTI 2A was launched on 15 June 1963 from Vandenberg Air Force Base into a 171 x 925 km altitude orbit with an inclination of 69.9 degrees. It was launched along with four other satellites: RADOSE, SOLRAD 6, SURCAL 1B, and surveillance satellite 1963-021E.

The LOFTI (LOw Frequency Trans-Ionospheric) satellite configuration consisted of a 25.9-kg aluminum-covered sphere with a diameter of 50.8 cm. LOFTI was designed to explore low-frequency radio wave propagation through the ionosphere. The satellite was powered by nickel-cadmium batteries that were charged by six circular groups of solar cells arranged around the surface of the sphere. On top of the sphere was a VLF loop antenna in the form of a a near-circular band with a mean diameter of about , and a guide tube for an extensible 460 cm whip antenna. A second 460 cm whip antenna was deployed through an orifice in the bottom of the sphere. Situated at 90 degree intervals around the equator of the sphere were four telemetry antenna rods. Also mounted on the equator were four photoelectric solar aspect sensors, and just below these four tubes containing photoelectric Earth aspect sensors. LOFTI contained a telemetry system, a 136.17-MHz transmitter, a command receiver, and two VLF receivers for 18-KHz signals.

Alternate Names

  • 00601

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 1963-06-15
Launch Vehicle: Thor
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States
Mass: 26 kg

Funding Agency

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


  • Navigation/Global Positioning

Additional Information

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

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