USA-215

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USA-215
Mission type Radar imaging
Operator US NRO
COSPAR ID 2010-046A
SATCAT № 37162
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type FIA Radar
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin
Start of mission
Launch date 21 September 2010, 04:03:30 (2010-09-21UTC04:03:30Z) UTC
Rocket Atlas V 501 AV-025
Launch site Vandenberg SLC-3E
Contractor ULA
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth (retrograde)
Perigee 1,109 kilometres (689 mi)[1]
Apogee 1,112 kilometres (691 mi)[1]
Inclination 122.99 degrees[1]
Period 107.35 minutes[1]
Epoch 15 July 2014, 01:17:47 UTC[1]

USA-215, also known as NRO Launch 41 or NROL-41, is an American reconnaissance satellite, operated by the National Reconnaissance Office. Launched in 2010, it has been identified as the first in a new series of radar imaging satellites, developed as part of the Future Imagery Architecture programme,[2] to replace the earlier Lacrosse spacecraft.

USA-215 was launched by an Atlas V carrier rocket, flying in the 501 configuration, operated by United Launch Alliance. The rocket was launched from Space Launch Complex 3E at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, at 04:03:30 UTC (09:03 PDT) on 21 September 2010.[3] It was identified as NRO Launch 41, and was the twenty-third flight of an Atlas V; the vehicle had the tail number AV-025, and was named Gladys.[4]

The satellite's orbit and mission are officially classified, however it has been located by amateur observers in a retrograde low Earth orbit. As of 15 July 2014 it was in an orbit with a perigee of 1,109 kilometres (689 mi), an apogee of 1,112 kilometres (691 mi) and 122.99 degrees of inclination.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Peat, Chris (15 July 2014). "USA 215 - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "FIA-Radar 1, 2, 3, 4". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Ray, Justin (21 September 2010). "Atlas Launch Report - Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "NROL launches". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 April 2012.