Encyclopedia Astronautica
Skynet


British military communications satellite. 2 launches, 1974.01.19 (Skynet 2A) and 1974.11.23 (Skynet 2B).

Gross mass: 129 kg (284 lb).
First Launch: 1974.01.19.
Last Launch: 1974.11.23.
Number: 2 .

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...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Delta American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Delta began as Thor, a crash December 1955 program to produce an intermediate range ballistic missile using existing components, which flew thirteen months after go-ahead. Fifteen months after that, a space launch version flew, using an existing upper stage. The addition of solid rocket boosters allowed the Thor core and Able/Delta upper stages to be stretched. Costs were kept down by using first and second-stage rocket engines surplus to the Apollo program in the 1970's. Continuous introduction of new 'existing' technology over the years resulted in an incredible evolution - the payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit increasing from 68 kg in 1962 to 3810 kg by 2002. Delta survived innumerable attempts to kill the program and replace it with 'more rationale' alternatives. By 2008 nearly 1,000 boosters had flown over a fifty-year career, and cancellation was again announced. More...
  • Delta 2313 American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 3 x Castor 2 + 1 x ELT Thor/RS-27 + 1 x Delta P /TR-201 + 1 x Star 37D More...
  • Delta 2000 American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta 2000 series used Castor 2 strap-ons together with an Extended Long Tank core equipped with the more powerful RS-27 engine. This engine was derived from surplus H-1 engines intended for the Saturn IB booster of the Apollo programme. The Delta P upper stage was built by Douglas and used surplus Apollo lunar module engines from TRW. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • MoD British agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of Defence, UK. More...

Associated Programs
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...
  • Cape Canaveral LC17B Delta launch complex. Part of a dual launch pad complex built for the Thor ballistic missile program in 1956. Upgraded over the decades for use with Thor, Delta, Delta II, and Delta III launch vehicles, it remained in use for over half a century. More...

Skynet Chronology


1974 January 19 - . 01:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2313. LV Configuration: Delta 2313 587/D100. FAILURE: Partial Failure. Failed to reach planned orbit.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Skynet 2A - . Mass: 129 kg (284 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Skynet. Decay Date: 1974-01-25 . USAF Sat Cat: 7096 . COSPAR: 1974-002A. Apogee: 1,803 km (1,120 mi). Perigee: 104 km (64 mi). Inclination: 37.5000 deg. Period: 104.10 min. Summary: Partial Failure. Failed to reach planned orbit..

1974 November 23 - . 00:28 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 2313. LV Configuration: Delta 2313 591/D105.
  • Skynet 2B - . Payload: Skynet 2A. Mass: 129 kg (284 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: Skynet. Completed Operations Date: 1992-01-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 7547 . COSPAR: 1974-094A. Apogee: 35,822 km (22,258 mi). Perigee: 35,782 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 12.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.90 min. Military communications. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean at 50-55 deg E in 1975-1977; drifting As of 3 September 2001 located at 18.23 deg E drifting at 0.206 deg W per day. As of 2007 Feb 27 located at 54.93E drifting at 0.393E degrees per day.

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