Template:Infobox spaceflight

Thor Agena B with Discoverer 18 (Dec 7, 1960) 1

The launch of Discoverer 18

Discoverer 18, also known as Corona 9013, was an American optical reconnaissance satellite which was launched in 1960. It was a KH-2 Corona satellite, based on an Agena-B.[1]

The launch of Discoverer 18 occurred at 20:20:58 UTC on 7 December 1960. A Thor DM-21 Agena-B rocket was used, flying from Launch Complex 75-3-4 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.[2] Upon successfully reaching orbit, it was assigned the Harvard designation 1960 Sigma 1.

Discoverer 18 was operated in a low Earth orbit, with a perigee of 272 kilometres (Template:Convert/round mi), an apogee of 535 kilometres (Template:Convert/round mi), 81.4 degrees of inclination, and a period of 92.6 minutes.[3] The satellite had a mass of 1,240 kilograms (Template:Convert/round lb),[4] and was equipped with a panoramic camera with a focal length of 61 centimetres (Template:Convert/round in), which had a maximum resolution of 7.6 metres (Template:Convert/round ft).[5] Images were recorded onto 70-millimeter (Template:Convert/LoffAonSon) film, and returned in a Satellite Recovery Vehicle, which was recovered three days after the launch. The Satellite Recovery Vehicle used by Discoverer 18 was SRV-508. Following the return of its images, Discoverer 18 remained in orbit until it decayed on 2 April 1961.[3] It was the first KH-2 satellite to complete its mission successfully.[6]


  1. Krebs, Gunter. "KH-2 Corona". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  2. McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  4. Wade, Mark. "KH-2". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  5. "Corona". Mission and Spacecraft Library. NASA. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  6. Pike, John (9 September 2000). "KH-2 Corona". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
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