You are on page 1of 16

NEWS RELEASE

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION


400 MARYLAND AVENUE, SW, WASHINGTON,
D. C. 20546
TELEPHONES: WORTH 2-4155 -------- WORTH3-6925

FOR RELEASE: SuNDAY


January 19, 1964
RELEASE NO: 64-9

NASA TO LAUNCH ANOTHER RELAY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will

launch a second Relay communications satellite aboard


a
Delta rocket from Cape Kennedy, Fla., no earlier than
Jan. 21,
1964.

If successful, it will be the 22d straight success for

the Delta launch vehicle, which is scheduled to boost


the new
Relay into an orbit of about 4600 miles apogee and 1325
miles
perigee. It will orbit the Earth every three hours and 15
minutes while moving in a path inclined 47 degrees to
the
Equator.

-more-
-2-

Relay's mission is to continue the work of its successful

sister satellite, Relay I, which is still orbiting more than

a year after launch, and to provide an evaluation of improve-

ments built in the new spacecraft. Its communications experi-


ments, including television, will help determine the feastbility

of this type spacecraft in future operational space communica-

tions networks.

At the same time, engineers will get a better estimate of

the spacecraft's lifetime. The expanding network of ground sta-

tions around the world will get an opportunity to work with two

Relay satellites. The new Relay will send back to Earth data of

radiation encountered and the degradation radiation may cause

the spacecraft's components.

Supervision

Direction of the Relay program is under NASA's Office of

Snahcc Szience and Applications with direct management of the pro-

ject under NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

RCA's Astro-Electronics Division, Princeton, N.J., built the

spacecraft under contract to GSFC. The Delta launch vehicle,

was built by the Douglas Aircraft Co., Santa Monica, Calif.

-more-
-3-

Relay I Still Operating

Relay I, during its more than a year of operation, has

made many telecasts between the U.S. and Europe, and several

-- including the first TV transmission to Asia -- were made

to Japan from the U.S. More than 2000 experiments were made

during the 300 hours of transmission time.

It was launched Dec. 13, 1962, had a life expectancy of

six-months to a year, but is still going strong. It was sup-

posed to have been shut off at the end of the year by an auto-

matic timing device which failed to work. The device, an

electrolytic solution, was to have eaten its way through the

main power lead about a year aftcr launch. However, it failed

to do so. Scientists believe that spacecraft temperatures, v

lower than anticipated, apparently affected the rate of destruc-

tion by the electrolytic solution.

Before launch, the spacecraft's television and radio trans-

mitting equipment was not expected to be operating properly after

six months to a year in orbit. Therefore, it was considered

better to shut down all transmissions completely, including the

occasional beacon signals that merely take up a frequency that

could better be used Ly other satellites.

-more-
-4-

Improvements

The new Relay, identical to Relay I in most respects,


has no automatic cutoff device. Scientists want to learn

how long this one can communicate. It has N-on-P (negative


on positive) solar cells which give greater resistance to
radiation than the P-on-N solar cells on the previous Relay.

Other component changes are different transistors br the


voltage regulator; electrically operated mechanical switches
to assure ability to turn off transmitting equipment; relocated
temperature measuring devices and a new traveling wave tube.
The traveling wave tube transmits the television or radio sig-
nal through the spacecraft antenna to the ground.

The newest Relay, like Relay I, can transmit one-way wide-


band communications (television, 300 one-way voice channels or
high speed data) or two-way narrowband communications (12 two-
way telephone conversations or teletype, photo-facsimile and
data).

Improved Visibility

After launch Relay will be in excellent mutual visibility


position between North America and Europe for transmission of

-more-
-5-

television between the two hemispheres. On various orbits

around the Earth the satellite will be in position to trans-

mit programs up to e hour or more in length between Europe

and the U.S. This will gradually lengthen until April when

there will be periods of as much as 70 minutes mutual visi-

bility time. This time will drop as the high point of the

spacecraft's orbit moves into the southern hemisphere, ulti-

mately bringing only 10 to 12 minutes of mutual visibility

time from about dmid-July to 20 to 30 minutes in October and

:ncreasing back to the maximum as the satellite apogee moves

back north.

Mutual visibility with Japan, which will be about 40

minutes at maximum, will decrease to nothing by mid-July and

continue with no mutual visibility until mid-November.

On the whole, this satellite will be in much better mu-

tual visibility relation to Europe, South America and Asia than

Relay I. During the first month, it will afford opportunity to

con-duct tests of 15 to more than 50 minutes duration three times

a day between U.S. and overseas ground stations.

Experiments and Demonstrations

Wideband experiments and demonstrations will be conducted

between staticns in -he United States (the American Telephone

-more-
-6-

and Telegraph station at Andover, Me., and tlh- 1ASA/Goddard

Station at MoJave, Calif.); the U-nited Kingdom General Post

Office station at Goonhilly Dowens, England; the French

National Center for Telecommunications Studies station at

Pleumeur-Bodou, France; and the Kokusai Denshin Denwa station

at Hitachi, Japan. The West German Deutsches Bundespost is cur-

rently operating on narrowband from a portable station at

Raisting, Upper Bavaria. A German wideband station will become

operational this year, as will a ground station of the

Scandinavian countries located at Goteborg, Sweden.

Narrowband experiments and demonstrations -- two-way


telephone, teletype and data transmission -- will be conducted
between the International Telephone and Telegraph Federal

Laboratories ground station at Nutley, N.J., and one near Rio

de Janeiro operated by Radio International do Brasil by authority

of the Brazilian Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

One--way voice and teletype as well as reduced quality wide-

band tests will be received from the U.S. and Brazil at Fucino,

Italy, about 50 miles northeast of Rome. Telespazio is the coop-


erating organization in Italy.

-more-
-7-

Tracking

As soon as Relay is injected into orbit the world-wide

NASA STADAN network (Space Tracking and Data Acquisition

Network) will begin to track and receive data from tho Fpace-

craft. Data will be transmitted to the Goddard Spaze Flight

Center Operations Control Center for analysis by Relay project

officials.

The Relay Team

NASA Headquarters Dr. Homer E. Newell, Associate


Administrator for Space Science
and Applications, overall program
managerm;nt
Robert F. Garbarini, Director of
Applications

Leonard Jaffe, Director, Communi-


cations and Navigational Satellite
Programs

Donald Rogers, Relay Program


Manager

Edmund Buckley, Director, Office


of Tracking and Data Acquisition

C. P. Wilson, Tracking and Data


Acquisition Program Support

T. Bland Norris, Delta Program


Manager

-more-
-8-

Goddard Space Flight Center: Dr. Harry J. Goett, Director

Daniel G. 1azur, Chief, Satellite


Systems Lc Projects

Alton E. Jones, Chief, Communica-


tionts Satellites

Wendell Sunderlin, Project Manager

Robert II. Pickard, Spacecraft


IlIana-er

Gilbert Bullock, Demonstrationz


Cco-:djin at or

William Schi.ndler, Delt'a Coordinator

Thomas E. iayan, Tracking and Data


3ystems Ilanager

Robert Gray, Chief, Goddard Launch


Operations Branch

Radio Corporation of America: R. A. Dunphy, Project Manager


Spacecraft contractor

Space Technology Corporation: B. II.Abramson, Program DIrector


Test operations

Douglas Aircraft Conrpany: Garry 7. Hanson, Field Statio:-


Vehicle contractor llanaer, JFIKSC Mlissile and Space
Syste(-v Div_- on

John l1line, Chief Delta System


Engineaer

-.-ore-
-9-

TECI-UIICAL DESCIRIPTIOIU

The Relay Spacecraft ande Systems Operation

Outwardly, the newe 172-pound Relay spacecraft looks

exactly like Relay I except for the darker color of its solar

cells.

Here are the changes made:

1. N-on-P instead of P-on-IT solar cells, for greater

resistance to radiation. The N-on-P cells should deteriorate

only about 20 per cent during a year, compared to about 50 pei

cent for P-on-N cells.

2. Shortly after the launch of Relay I, transistors for

the high-power voltage regulator would not turn off. This


caused a voltage drop that impaired operations for a while. Im-
proved transistors have replaced those of Relay I.

3. Magnetic latching relays added to the wideband power

supply to provide a second, redundant, way to turn off the power

supply by ground command in case Relay I's trouble develops again

4. Temperature sensors added near the voltage regulator

transistors to detect, by telemetry, if and when their temperature

becomes critical. Five sensors have been relocated.


5. New unpressurized traveling wave tubes will be used on

this Relay in addition to a pressurized tube like those in Relay

-more-
lI
-10-

6. Command circuitry has been im!iproved so that stray

radiation on the Same frequency (148 mc) will not generate

spurious commands. Corumnd transmitter power at NASA's Nutley

and MoJave test and command stations has been increased to pro-

vide more reliable command capability.

7. Elimination of the one-year timer used on Relay I.

Size and Characteristiccs

The new 172-pound Relay ,.pacecraft is an eiglht-sided prism

which tapers at one end. It is 33 inches hic,'h and about 29

iLnches In diameter at its broad end. The 18-inch-long wideband

coL.uunications antenna extends from the narrow eind of tho body,

giving it a total height of 51 inches. Four whip-like telemeirtry

an'uenna ext:nd from the broad end of the satollite at about 45

da-ree anr-les.

11cRlay's shape was selected to permit use of the Delta

V*izocle's low-drag fair-InL-. The components are attached to a

aricateec'. alumvinui frame or chass.i.s or to tubular riai-s which


e:!ircle the top and bottom of the chas3is. The exterior, cor -

ro,2ex of eighlt honaeycorIb aluminum panels studed -ithl 8215 solar

~cl'., .;s a';tache. to the chas.is rings and -iveui Relay its

o .Jtac onoal ,hape. The solar cellz, covering the outer entire

-:.iore-
surface, except the top and bottom of the structure, provide

power to three nickel-cadmium storage batteries containing

20 cells each. The average requirement from the solar cells


to maintain sufficient power for spacecraft operations is 45

watts. The N-on-P solar cells are shielded to prevent excessive

radiation damage encountered in the space environment.

Fo'2 reliability, Relay has two identical transponders.

In the event one should fail, the other can carry out the com-

munications tests. Under normal operating procedures, selection


of the transponder to be used during a test will be made by

ground command from the test station. The unpressurized travel-


ing wave tube, especially designed for Relay by RCA, uses a

platinum-cobalt magnet and has an overall efficiency of 21fi.

Each of the Relay transponders cai handle wideband one-way signals,

such as television, or two-way telephone traffic and other narrow-

band signals.

Wideband signals are :,eceived from the ground stations at a

frequency of 1725 MC and transmitted by the satellite to the

ground at 4170 MC.

Two-way telephone and other narrowband traffic are trans-


m:Ltted on the following frequencies:

-more-
-12-

Ground to satellite: 1726.6 MC West-East & North-South


Satellite to ground: 4175 MC West-East & North-South
Ground to satellite: 1723.3 MC East-West & South-North
Satellite to ground: 4165 MC East-West & South-North

Telemetry and Command Equipment

One of the most complex electronic syszems carried in Relay

is the telemetry and command equipment. It consists of an an-


tenna, two command receivers, two subearrier demodulators, two

command decoders, two telemetry transmitters, one command control

unit, and one telemetry encoder. The duplicate units art. to in-
sure reliability of the system's operation.

The command system has 20 command channels which control

operation of the communication transponders and telemetry system.

The signals are received, demodulated, d'ecoded and applied to the


command control unit :jhich performs .he switching function desired
and initiates a verification signal to be telemetered back to the

ground stat An.

The Relay telemietry encoder is the most complicated single


element in the entire spacecraft. It encodes data from sensors
withdi. the satellite and transmits to the ground through 128

channels at the rate of one channel per second. The 1-pound en-
cod-r comprises 5136 parts, including 581 transistors and 137.
diodes.

-more-
Relay will be spin-stabilized at 150 rpm. A sun aspect

indicator and horizon scanner provide telemietry-data of the

satellite's orientations The spin His can be adjusted by a

ground signal which activates a coil within the spacecraft.

Thi4 in turn, reacts with the Earth's magnetic field and pro-

vTides the torque required to properly orient the satellite.

The temperature within Relay is controlled by a shutter

system of aluminized mylar vanes at its broad end. When the

vanes are closed, the temperature is at the proper level. To

dissipate excessive heat, a bellows controlled by a temperature-

sensitive fluid opens the .s:utter vanes. Temperature within the

satellite is expected to vary from 5 to 25 degrees Centigrade.

The STADAN network stations track Relay's 136 MC beacon

which operates continually and transmit data to the Goddard

Space Flight Center where scientists will compute the orbital

elements. This orbital information is the basis for determining

Relay's "look angles" which are necessary for the ground station

antennas to acquire Relay for conducting the communication ex-

periments.

Just before Relay is mutually visible between ground sta-

tions, the NASA test s ation will pick up the tracking beacon

and exercise commands for obtaining telemetry on its operating

-more-
-14-

condition. If the systems are in good condition, the test

station then sends another command to turn on one of the

communications transponders and set the mode for wideband or

narrowband transmissions. Test station operations require


about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turning on the transponder also activates a 4080 MC

tracking beacon by which the ground station antenna acquires

Relay. After the ground acquires Relay and prepares its ground

equipment the programmed communication tests are carried.

When the tests between ground stations are completed the

NASA test station sends a command to Relay which turns off the

transponder in order to conserve the power supply. However,


should the satellite pass over the horizon before the cut-off sig-

nal is received, an automatic timer turns off the equipment two

minutes after the illuminating signal from the ground is loot.

Relay's power supply is designed to permit communication tests

up to 100 minutes each day.

The Delta Launch Vehicle

The NASA-developed, three stage Delta rocket, built by

Douglas Aircraft Company, will be used to launch Relay into orbit.

If successful, this will be the 22d consecutive satellite launched

-more-
-15-

into orbit by Delta. To date, the Delta record includes 21

successes and one failure. The Delta program is managed by


the Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Delta roc!:et has the following general characteristics:

Height: 90 feet
Maximum diameter: 8 feet
Lift-off weight: about 57 tons

First Stage: Modified A:r Force Thor, produced by Douglas Air-


craft Co.
Fuel: Liquid (kerosene with liquid oxygen as oxidizer)
Thrust: 170,000 pounds
Burning time: About two minutes and 25 seconds
Delta Space Weight: Over 50 tons
Second Stare: Aerojet General Corporation, JA 10-118 propulsion
system

Fuel: Liquid
Thrust: About 7,500 pounds
Burninr, time: About two minutes, 21.0 seconds
Delta Space Weight: Two and one-half tons

Third 3tarpc: Allegany Ballistics Laboratory X-248 motor


Fuel: Solid
Thrust: About 3,000 pounds
Burning time: 40 seconds
Weinht: About 516 pounds
Lenrgth: 57.5 inches
Diameter: 18 inches

During first and second stage powered flight, the Bell


Telephone Laboratory radie-guidance system is used for inflight

-more-

V
-16-

trajectory corrections. It also commands second-stage cutoff

when the desired position, velocity and altitude have been

achieved.

Following second stage cutoff, a 19 minute coast period

occurs. Near the end of this period, small rockets mounted

on a table between the second and third stages ignite and spin

up the third stage and the satellite to their proper velocity.

The second stage then separates and third stage ignition occurs,

giving Relay its final boost toward orbital injection.

-0-