Samos B

Samos was a series of American military spacecraft launched in the early 1960s to carry out global television surveillance from polar orbits. Samos (originally known as Sentry) satellites were one component of the first generation of United States Air Force orbital surveillance spacecraft, the other two components being MIDAS and Discoverer.


The first satellites in the Samos series radioed back images from a frame readout camera as they passed over North America; later ones carried recoverable panoramic cameras. None of the satellites worked well, in contrast to the successful CIA-run Corona project, and Samos was quietly wound up without any significant achievements. Some reporters have incorrectly said that "Samos" was an acronym of Satellite and Missile Observation System. In fact, the name came from the link with MIDAS – Samos being the island upon which King Midas lived.


spacecraft launch date
Samos 1* Oct 11, 1960
Samos 2 Jan 31, 1961
Samos 3* Sep 9, 1961
Samos 4 Nov 22, 1961
Samos 5 Dec 22, 1961
Samos 6 Mar 7, 1962
Samos 7 Apr 26, 1962
Samos 8 Jan 17, 1962
Samos 9 Jul 18, 1962
Samos 10 Aug 5, 1962
Samos 11 Nov 11, 1962
* failed