USA-207

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USA-207
PAN satellite patch.jpg
PAN mission patch
Mission typeSIGINT
OperatorNSA
COSPAR ID2009-047A
SATCAT no.35815
Spacecraft properties
BusA2100
ManufacturerLockheed Martin[1]
Start of mission
Launch date8 September 2009, 21:35:00 (2009-09-08UTC21:35Z) UTC[2]
RocketAtlas V 401
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-41
ContractorULA
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeGeostationary
Perigee35,778 kilometers (22,231 mi)[3]
Apogee35,807 kilometers (22,249 mi)[3]
Inclination0.09 degrees[3]
Period1436.12 minutes[3]
Epoch10 January 2015, 14:22:18 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 SIGINT satellite,[8] which was launched in September 2009. The US government has not confirmed which of its intelligence agencies operate the satellite, however leaked documents reveal the operator to be the National Security Agency.[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 9 different orbital slots since launch. With each move, it was placed close to another commercial communications satellite.[8] As of late 2013 it is located at 47.7 deg E., over East Africa.

Gallery[edit]

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 (9 July 2009). "Atlas rocket team continues active year of launches". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Peat, Chris (10 January 2015). "USA 207 - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  4. ^ McDowell, Jonathan (10 September 2009). "Issue 615". Jonathan's Space Report. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Spacewarn Bulletin Issue 671". NASA NSSDC. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b Day, Dwayne (24 August 2009). "PAN's labyrinth". The Space Review. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  7. ^ a b "New Horizons" (PDF). Lockheed Martin. December 2007. p. 7 (5 of PDF). Retrieved 6 September 2009.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b Langbroek, Marco (31 October 2016). "A NEMESIS in the sky. PAN, Mentor 4 and close encounters of the SIGINT kind". The Space Review. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  9. ^ Covault, Craig (26 May 2009). "Secret PAN satellite leads Cape milspace launch surge". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Highlights" (PDF). Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. Spring 2007. pp. 28 (29 of PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2009.
  11. ^ Clark, Stephen. "Worldwide Launch Schedule". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  12. ^ Malik, Tariq (30 August 2009). "Atlas 5 Rocket to Secret Satellite [sic]". Space.com. Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.