First Launch of NRO's 'Poppy' Spacecraft

Fifty years ago today — December 13, 1962 — a Thor Delta rocket out of Vandenberg AFB launched the first set of electronic intelligence (ELINT) spacecraft in the Poppy program.


(Poppy Type II satellite. NRO image from Wikimedia Commons.)

Also known as 1962 Tau Beta (among other names), the Poppy spacecraft were a follow-on to the Galactic Radiation and Background (GRAB) series of ELINT satellites, pictured in this previous blog entry. Several Poppy spacecraft were launched together, in tandem with the Injun 3 instrumentation satellite.

The National Reconnaissance Office declassified the Poppy program in 2005, and prepared a report entitled Raising the Periscope that contains select details about it and the GRAB program.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.