Encyclopedia Astronautica
SDS-2


American military communications satellite. 4 launches, 1989.08.08 (USA 40) to 1996.07.03 (USA 125).

Replacement for the SDS satellites, which from Molniya-type orbits, provided data relay services for optical reconnaissance and other military spacecraft. They were launched by the Shuttle/IUS or by the Titan IV, which implies a satellite mass of around 6000 kg, compared to only 700 kg for the earlier SDS satellites. They therefore probably included other reconnaissance payloads as well (signals intelligence, early warning, weather monitoring, etc).

Gross mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb).
First Launch: 1989.08.08.
Last Launch: 1996.07.03.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Shuttle The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. More...
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...
  • Titan 4 American orbital launch vehicle. Developed to handle military payloads designed for launch on Shuttle from Vandenberg before the USAF pulled out of the Shuttle program after the Challenger disaster. Further stretch of core from Titan 34, 7-segment solid rocket motors (developed for MOL but not used until 25 years later). Enlarged Centaur G used as upper stage (variant of stage designed for Shuttle but prohibited for flight safety reasons after Challenger). Completely revised electronics. All the changes resulted in major increase in cost of launch vehicle and launch operations. More...
  • Titan 405A American orbital launch vehicle. Version of Titan 4 with no upper stage, configured for launch of lower-mass, higher-orbit SDS and NOSS-2 payloads from Cape Canaveral. More...
  • Titan 403A American orbital launch vehicle. Version of Titan 4 with no upper stage, configured for launch of lower-mass, higher-orbit Lacrosse, SDS and NOSS-2 payloads from Vandenberg. More...
  • Atlas IIAS American orbital launch vehicle. The Atlas II booster was 2.7-meters longer than the Atlas I and included uprated Rocketdyne MA-5A engines. The Atlas I vernier engines were replaced with a hydrazine roll control system. The Centaur stage was stretched 0.9-meters compared to the Centaur I stage. Fixed foam insulation replaced Atlas I's jettisonable insulation panels. Higher performance RL10A-4 or RL10A-4-1 engines replaced Atlas II's RL10A-3-3A. The Atlas IIAS model added four Thiokol Castor IVA solid rocket boosters (SRBs) to the core Atlas stage to augment thrust for the first two minutes of flight. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. 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...
  • Cape Canaveral LC40 Titan launch complex. Constructed as part of the Titan Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV vehicles. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC4E Titan, Atlas launch complex. First designated PALC2-4 and used to launch Atlas Agena D with KH-7 spysats. Rebuilt after MOL cancellation in 1970 to handle Titan 3D with KH-9 and KH-11 spysats. Upgraded in 1989-1990 for Titan 4. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC39B Shuttle, Saturn V, Saturn I launch complex. LC39A and LC39B, part of the Kennedy Space Center, were built on Merritt Island (north/northwest of the Cape) to support the Saturn V/Apollo lunar landing program in 1963-1966. The sites were modified in the last half of the 1970s to support the manned Space Shuttle program. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC39A Shuttle, Saturn V launch complex. LC39A and LC39B, part of the Kennedy Space Center, were built on Merritt Island (north/northwest of the Cape) to support the Saturn V/Apollo lunar landing program. The sites were modified in the last half of the 1970s to support the manned Space Shuttle program. Construction began in December 1963. Complex 39A was completed on 4 October 1965. Complex 39A supported two unmanned and nine manned Saturn V/Apollo missions between 9 November 1967 and 8 December 1972. The site also supported the launch of the Skylab space station on 14 May 1973. Both complexes were modified to support Space Shuttle missions later on. Complex 39A supported the first Space Shuttle launch on 12 April 1981. More...

SDS-2 Chronology


1989 August 8 - . 12:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39B. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-28R.
  • USA 40 - . Payload: SDS B-1. Mass: 5,900 kg (13,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: SDS-2. USAF Sat Cat: 20167 . COSPAR: 1989-061B. Apogee: 307 km (190 mi). Perigee: 296 km (183 mi). Inclination: 57.0000 deg. Period: 90.50 min. Summary: Deployed from STS-28 8 August 1989..

1992 December 2 - . 13:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC39A. LV Family: Shuttle. Launch Vehicle: Shuttle. LV Configuration: Space Shuttle STS-53.
  • USA 89 - . Payload: SDS B-3. Mass: 5,900 kg (13,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: SDS-2. USAF Sat Cat: 22518 . COSPAR: 1992-086B. Apogee: 377 km (234 mi). Perigee: 366 km (227 mi). Inclination: 56.9000 deg. Period: 92.00 min. Summary: Deployed from STS-53 12/2/92..

1996 May 12 - . 21:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4E. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 403A. LV Configuration: Titan 403A K-22 (45F-11).
  • USA 119 - . Payload: SDS B-2. Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; NRL. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: SDS-2. USAF Sat Cat: 23893 . COSPAR: 1996-029A. Apogee: 1,165 km (723 mi). Perigee: 1,051 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.44 min. Summary: Unknown orbit.

1996 July 3 - . 00:31 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 405A. LV Configuration: Titan 405A K-2 (45H-1).
  • USA 125 - . Payload: SDS B-4. Mass: 6,300 kg (13,800 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; USAF. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: SDS-2. USAF Sat Cat: 23945 . COSPAR: 1996-038A. Apogee: 319 km (198 mi). Perigee: 292 km (181 mi). Inclination: 54.9000 deg. Period: 90.63 min. Summary: Unknown orbit.

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