Starlette was the first laser geodetic satellite, preceding NASA's Lageos by a year. The 0.24m diameter Al-Mg sphere contained a depleted U-238 core to give it a mass of 48 kg. The surface was studded with 60 laser reflectors. Starlette boasted the somewhat contrived acronym of `Satellite de Taille adaptee avec Reflecteurs pour les etudes de la Terre'. It was launched on the test flight of the Diamant B P.4 from Kourou in Feb 1975. A radio transmitter operated for 5 hours, but the main mission of the satellite was entirely passive. Starlette was built in-house by CNES.



1975 Feb 6   1635   Launch by Diamant B P.4   CSG ELD 
    Orbit insertion   104.1 806 x 1108 x 49.8  
  2136   End of transmissions