Artist's impression of a KH-11 satellite
|Mission type||Optical imaging|
|Operator||US National Reconnaissance Office|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||28 August 2013, 18:03:00UTC|
|Rocket||Delta IV Heavy D364|
|Launch site||Vandenberg SLC-6|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
|Semi-major axis||7,015.26 kilometers (4,359.08 mi)|
|Perigee||276 kilometers (171 mi)|
|Apogee||1,011 kilometers (628 mi)|
|Epoch||17 April 2014, 20:43:38 UTC|
USA-245 or NRO Launch 65 (NROL-65) is an American reconnaissance satellite which is operated by the National Reconnaissance Office. Launched in August 2013, it is the last KH-11 reconnaissance satellite, and the last spacecraft to be launched in the Keyhole program.
Details of USA-245's mission are classified by the US military, however numerous independent analysts identified it as a KH-11 before launch, and amateur satellite watchers have since observed it in the orbit used by such satellites. KH-11 satellites are used to provide high-resolution optical and infrared imagery for US intelligence agencies.
USA-245 was launched by United Launch Alliance, using a Delta IV Heavy rocket with the flight number Delta 364 and the name Victoria. The launch took place from Space Launch Complex 6 at the Vandenberg Air Force Base at 18:03 UTC (11:03 local time) on 28 August 2013. After deploying its payload, the rocket's upper stage was deorbited after completing one orbit. The launch was the first Delta IV mission to use a new ignition sequence aimed at reducing damage to the first stage insulation caused by igniting a cloud of hydrogen around the vehicle at liftoff. To mitigate this, the rocket's starboard engine was lit two seconds earlier than on previous flights.
- Peat, Chris (17 April 2014). "USA 245 - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
- Graham, William (28 August 2013). "ULA Delta IV-H launches with NROL-65". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Molczan, Ted (28 August 2013). "RE: NROL-65 search elements". Seesat-L. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Langbroek, Marco (28 August 2013). "NROL-65 seen". Seesat-L. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Krebs, Gunter. "KH-11 / Kennen / Crystal". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- "National Reconnaissance Office Mission Successfully Launches on World's Largest Rocket, the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy". United Launch Alliance. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Ray, Justin (28 August 2013). "Delta Launch Report - Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Ray, Justin (25 August 2013). "America's largest rocket set for launch Wednesday". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
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