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Mission typeNavigation
OperatorUS Air Force
COSPAR ID1989-064A
SATCAT no.20185
Mission duration7.5 years (planned)[1]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeGPS Block II[1]
Launch mass840 kilograms (1,850 lb)[2]
Start of mission
Launch date18 August 1989, 05:57:59 (1989-08-18UTC05:57:59Z) UTC
RocketDelta II 6925,[3] D186[3]
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17A[3]
End of mission
Deactivated13 October 2000 (2000-10-14)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeMedium Earth
Perigee altitude20,113 kilometres (12,498 mi)[4]
Apogee altitude20,246 kilometres (12,580 mi)[4]
Inclination54.9 degrees[4]
Period717.86 minutes[4]

USA-42, also known as GPS II-3 and GPS SVN-16, was an American navigation satellite which formed part of the Global Positioning System. It was the third of nine Block II GPS satellites to be launched, which were the first operational GPS satellites to be placed into orbit.

USA-42 was launched at 05:57:59 UTC on 18 August 1989, atop a Delta II carrier rocket, flight number D186, flying in the 6925 configuration.[3] The launch took place from Launch Complex 17A at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,[5] and placed USA-42 into a transfer orbit. The satellite raised itself into medium Earth orbit using a Star-37XFP apogee motor.[1]

On 19 September 1989, USA-42 was in an orbit with a perigee of 20,113 kilometres (12,498 mi), an apogee of 20,246 kilometres (12,580 mi), a period of 717.86 minutes, and 54.9 degrees of inclination to the equator.[4] The satellite had a mass of 840 kilograms (1,850 lb), and generated 710 watts of power.[2] It had a design life of 7.5 years,[1] and ceased operations on 13 October 2000.


  1. ^ a b c d e Krebs, Gunter. "GPS-2 (Navstar-2)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Navstar 2-03". US National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch List". Launch Vehicle Database. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 10 July 2012.