LiPS (Living Plume Shield)

LiPS (Living Plume Shield) missions ejected plume shields from the upper stage of NOSS (Naval Ocean Surveillance Satellite) primary payloads; they were used as subsatellites for conducting technology demonstrations. The plume shield, which deflects the exhaust of the upper-stage motor away from the primary payload, is customarily jettisoned after use to become space debris. However, on the LiPS experiments, the anterior surfaces of the shield, which are unaffected by the plume, were fitted with a variety of small experiments. All launches were from Vandenberg Air Force Base.


mission launch date launch vehicle notes
LiPS 1 Dec 9, 1980 Atlas F Launch vehicle failed on takeoff
LiPS 2 Feb 8, 1983 Atlas H Carried UHF single-channel transponder
LiPS 3 May 15, 1987 Atlas H Data returned from over 140 solar-cell experiments