NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Beacon Explorer-A



Beacon Explorer-A was a small ionospheric research satellite instrumented with an electrostatic probe, a 20-, 40-, and 41-Hz ionospheric radio beacon, a passive laser tracking reflector, and a navigation experiment. Its primary objective was to obtain worldwide observations of total electron content between the spacecraft and the earth. The spacecraft was an octagonal right prism (24.5-cm high x 45.7-cm diam) terminated on top with a truncated octagonal pyramid on which the laser reflectors were mounted. Appended were four hinged paddles carrying solar cells. Each paddle was 167.6 x 25.4 cm. During the third stage operation, a malfunction of unidentified origin prevented successful orbit. Satellite and third stage descent were in the south Atlantic with no useful scientific data obtained.

Alternate Names

    Facts in Brief

    Launch Date: 1964-03-19
    Launch Vehicle: Delta
    Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
    Mass: 114 kg

    Funding Agency

    • NASA-Office of Space Science Applications (United States)


    • Space Physics

    Additional Information

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



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Mr. Robert E. BourdeauProject ScientistNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    Mr. Frank T. MartinProject ManagerNASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    [] NASA Logo -