Whilst details of its mission are officially classified, amateur observers have identified USA-227 as being a third-generation Satellite Data System satellite in geosynchronous orbit. The first amateur observation of the satellite was made on 6 April 2011, when the spacecraft was located at a longitude of 30.4 degrees west. SDS satellites are used to relay data from American reconnaissance satellites to ground stations.
Payloads are separated by bullets ( · ), launches by pipes ( | ). Manned flights are indicated in bold text. Uncatalogued launch failures are listed in italics. Payloads deployed from other spacecraft are denoted in (brackets).
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