A

David

Darling

Pegasus satellites

Pegasus was a series of spacecraft that over a three-year period investigated the extent of the micrometeoroid threat to the manned Apollo missions. Each was launched with a boilerplate Apollo capsule and, when in orbit, extended two large "wings," each measuring 4.3 by 14.6 m, mounted with detector panels. The fewer-than-expected number of impacting particles enabled about 450 kg of shielding to be trimmed from the operational Apollo vehicles.

 

All the Pegasus spacecraft were launched by Saturn I's from Cape Canaveral and had a total mass, with boilerplate capsules, of about 10,500 kilograms.

 

Pegasus satellite

 

spacecraft launch date orbit
Pegasus 1 Feb 16, 1965 510 × 726 km × 31.7°
Pegasus 2 May 25, 1965 502 × 740 km × 31.7°
Pegasus 3 Jul 30, 1965 441 × 449 km × 28.9°