USA-207

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USA-207
Mission type Communications
Operator Classified
COSPAR ID 2009-047A
SATCAT № 35815
Spacecraft properties
Bus A2100
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin[1]
Start of mission
Launch date 8 September 2009, 21:35:00 (2009-09-08UTC21:35Z) UTC[2]
Rocket Atlas V 401
Launch site Cape Canaveral SLC-41
Contractor ULA
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Perigee 35,767 kilometers (22,225 mi)[3]
Apogee 35,818 kilometers (22,256 mi)[3]
Inclination 0.06 degrees[3]
Period 1436.12 minutes[3]
Epoch 30 September 2014, 21:24:59 UTC[3]

USA-207,[4] international COSPAR code 2009-047A,[5] also known as PAN, officially meaning Palladium At Night,[6] or P360[7] is a classified American communications satellite,[8] which was launched in September 2009. The US government has not confirmed which of its intelligence agencies will operate the satellite.[9] The spacecraft was constructed by Lockheed Martin, and is based on the A2100 satellite bus,[6] using commercial off-the-shelf components.[7] The contract to build PAN was awarded in October 2006, with the satellite initially scheduled to launch 30 months later, in March 2009.[10]

PAN was launched by United Launch Alliance using an Atlas V 401 carrier rocket, with the serial number AV-018. The launch, from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, occurred at 21:35 GMT on 8 September 2009, at the start of a 129 minute launch window.[11] PAN successfully separated from the rocket just under two hours after liftoff.[12]

PAN has shown an unusual history of frequent relocations, moving between at least 8 different orbital slots since launch: as of January 2013 it is located at 42.5 deg E.,[13] over East Africa.

Launch patch of PAN. Note the questionmark in the exhaust plume
The geostationary satellite PAN (2009-047A), along with two other (commercial) geostationary satellites photographed on 4 July 2011 (photo: Marco Langbroek, Leiden, the Netherlands)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ray, Justin (2009-07-09). "Atlas rocket team continues active year of launches". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Peat, Chris (30 September 2014). "USA 207 - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  4. ^ McDowell, Jonathan (2009-09-10). "Issue 615". Jonathan's Space Report. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  5. ^ "Spacewarn Bulletin Issue 671". NASA NSSDC. 2009-09-30. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  6. ^ a b Day, Dwayne (2009-08-24). "PAN’s labyrinth". The Space Review. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  7. ^ a b "New Horizons". Lockheed Martin. December 2007. p. 7 (5 of PDF). Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  8. ^ US Air Force 45th Space Wing (2009-09-04). "Atlas V set for Cape Launch Sept. 8". Florida Today. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  9. ^ Covault, Craig (2009-05-26). "Secret PAN satellite leads Cape milspace launch surge". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  10. ^ "Highlights". Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Spring 2007. pp. 28 (29 of PDF). Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  11. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Worldwide Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  12. ^ Malik, Tariq (2009-08-30). "Atlas 5 Rocket to Secret Satellite [sic]". Space.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  13. ^ "SatTrackCam". Retrieved 2013-04-23.