Encyclopedia Astronautica
SA-200


The Spectrum Astro SA-200 satellite bus provided a flexible platform for satellites launched by the Pegasus booster. 4 launches, 2000.07.19 (Mightysat 2.1) to 2009.05.05.

Spectrum Astro was acquired by General Dynamics C4 Division in 2006. Spectrum Astro's SA-200 family of satellites were marketed in three variants:

  • The SA-200B provided an affordable platform for data collecting space missions at LEO, MEO, HEO, and GEO orbits. The spacecraft combining proven high-capability space components with an open architecture designed for concurrent development and early interface and functional test.
  • The SA-200HP was a scaleable platform for missions ranging from remote-sensing operations requiring continuous "pushbroom" sensors in any low-earth orbit, to planetary missions demanding precision pointing and extended lifetimes. This platform provided a range of electric power and propulsion capabilities with provisions for complete redundancy, depending on mission need and cost constraints. The SA-200HP was sized to support payloads launched by Pegasus, Taurus, or Athena launch vehicles.
  • The SA-200S was designed for missions with solar inertial, sun synchronous near-6am orbits, or missions that required duty-cycled, high-accuracy point tracking. It could be configured for a Pegasus, Athena, Delta, or Taurus launch. The bus provided a full capability monopropellant hydrazine RCS for orbit acquisition and precision control, and offered substantial pointing control and agility. Options for non-sun-synchronous orbits allowed payload operations for any sun orientation.

Gross mass: 500 kg (1,100 lb).
First Launch: 2000.07.19.
Last Launch: 2009.05.05.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...
  • Minotaur Minotaur was developed for the US Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP) as a low-cost, four-stage Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) using a combination of government-supplied surplus Minuteman II ICBM motors and proven Orbital space launch technologies. Proposed growth versions would use surplus Peacekeeper rocket stages. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Minotaur 1 American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Orbital launch vehicle consisting of a surplus Minuteman M55A1 first stage, Minuteman SR19 second stage, and new Orion 50XL third stage, Orion 38 fourth stage, and optional HAPS fifth stage for velocity trim and multiple payload deployment. Payload 580 kg to an 185 km, 28.5 degree orbit from Cape Canaveral; 310 kg to a 740 km sun-synchronous orbit from Vandenberg. More...
  • Minotaur American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Minotaur was developed for the US Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP) as a low-cost, four-stage Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) using a combination of government-supplied surplus Minuteman II ICBM motors and proven Orbital space launch technologies. The Minotaur 4 version used surplus Peacekeeper rocket stages. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Wallops Island Small NASA launch site for sounding rocket launches and occasional Scout launches to orbit. Air launches are conducted from the Drop Zone Wallops Island, 37.00 N 72.0 W. With the last orbital launch in 1985 and the decline in sounding rocket launches, Wallops fell into near-disuse as a launch center. Its fortunes revised with the establishment of Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in 2005 and orbital launches resumed in 2010. More...
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...

SA-200 Chronology


2000 July 19 - . 20:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC8. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1. LV Configuration: Minotaur 1 2.
  • Mightysat 2.1 - . Payload: SA-200B. Mass: 120 kg (260 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SA-200. Decay Date: 2002-11-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 26414 . COSPAR: 2000-042A. Apogee: 581 km (361 mi). Perigee: 547 km (340 mi). Inclination: 97.7835 deg. Period: 95.86 min. Mightysat 2.1, also known as Sindri, used a Spectrum Astro SA-200B satellite bus. The spacecraft carried a hyperspectral imager for earth imaging and spectroscopy, as well as satellite technology experiments such as advanced solar arrays. An Aerospace Corp./DARPA picosatellite experiment, consisting of two small boxes connected by a deployable tether, was deployed later. Similar picosats were deployed on the previous Minotaur launch in January 2000.

2007 April 24 - . 06:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA0B. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1. LV Configuration: Minotaur 1 7.
  • NFIRE - . Payload: SA-200B. Mass: 494 kg (1,089 lb). Nation: USA. Manufacturer: Gilbert. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SA-200. USAF Sat Cat: 31140 . COSPAR: 2007-014A. Apogee: 497 km (308 mi). Perigee: 489 km (303 mi). Inclination: 48.2000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Near Field Infrared Experiment conducted by the US Missile Defense Agency. Its Track Sensor Payload included visible and short, medium and long wave infrared sensors to observe missiles launched from the ground, and obtain basic data to distinguish between the missile and its hot rocket exhaust plume for application to anti-ballistic missile systems. Secondary payloads included Tesat, a German laser communications terminal, and its hydrazine propulsion system. This was used to maneuver the satellite from its initial 255 km x 465 km x 48.2 deg orbit to 489 km x 497 km by 18 May. The orbit was changed to 243 km x 487 km on 9 August and by 23 August was 219 km x 450 km. The satellite had a dry mass of 380 kg dry, was 2.7 m long and 1.3 m in diameter.

    The first major sensor test occurred when Minotaur II rocket TLV-7, was fired at 08:30 GMT on 23 August from Vandenberg in NFIRE Mission 2a. The Minotaur II was aimed to pass within 4 and 20 km of the NFIRE satellite while its third stage motor burning, to allow NFIRE to get a close look at the rocket and its exhaust. The Missile Defense Agency reported that the experiment was successful.


2008 September 6 - . 18:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7420-10. LV Configuration: Delta 7420-10 s/n D335.
  • GeoEye-1 - . Mass: 1,923 kg (4,239 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SA-200. USAF Sat Cat: 33331 . COSPAR: 2008-042A. Apogee: 687 km (426 mi). Perigee: 670 km (410 mi). Inclination: 98.1000 deg. Period: 98.30 min. Summary: Commercial optical surveillance satellite with an 0.4-meter resolution. Primary customer was the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency..

2009 May 5 - . 20:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7920-XC.
  • USA 205 - . Payload: STSS-ATRR. Mass: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Surveillance. Type: Orbital object surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: SA-200. USAF Sat Cat: 34903 . COSPAR: 2009-023A. Summary: Space Tracking and Surveillance System Advanced Technology Risk Reduction satellite..

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