Encyclopedia Astronautica
MoD


British agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of Defence, UK.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • NATO 1 British military communications satellite. 4 launches, 1969.11.22 (Skynet 1A) to 1971.02.03 (NATO 2). Military communications. More...
  • Skynet British military communications satellite. 2 launches, 1974.01.19 (Skynet 2A) and 1974.11.23 (Skynet 2B). More...
  • Skynet 5 British military communications satellite. One launch, 2008.06.12. The Skynet 5 program contract was signed by the EADS subsidiary Paradigm Secure Communications Ltd and the UK MOD in October 2003. More...

See also
  • Agency Agencies or institutions overseeing design, development, construction, or operation of space-related systems. More...

Associated Programs
Associated Launch Sites
  • South Uist British missile test range, occupying a good portion of northwest South Uist island in the Hebrides. Aside from missile testing, it has also been used for launch of Skua and Petrel meteorological rockets. Known to have been used for 222 launches from 1962 to 1982, reaching up to 174 kilometers altitude. More...

MoD Chronology


1969 November 22 - . 00:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta M. LV Configuration: Thor Delta M 554/D74.
  • Skynet 1A - . Mass: 243 kg (535 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: NATO 1. Completed Operations Date: 1980-01-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 4250 . COSPAR: 1969-101A. Apogee: 35,894 km (22,303 mi). Perigee: 35,682 km (22,171 mi). Inclination: 13.9000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Over Indian Ocean. Military communications. Previously registered by the United States in A/AC.105/INF.220: 1969-101A, orbital data 276 x 36716 km x 28.0 deg, category C. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit over the Indian Ocean at 41 deg E in 1969-1972?; ??? 1972-1977; over the Americas at 100-110 deg W in 1977-1998 As of 26 August 2001 located at 104.51 deg W drifting at 0.015 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 106.94W drifting at 0.015W degrees per day.

1970 August 19 - . 12:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17A. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta M. LV Configuration: Thor Delta M 561/D80.
  • Skynet 1B - . Mass: 243 kg (535 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: NATO 1. USAF Sat Cat: 4493 . COSPAR: 1970-062A. Apogee: 37,460 km (23,270 mi). Perigee: 278 km (172 mi). Inclination: 25.9000 deg. Period: 665.40 min. Summary: AKM failure left in unusable orbit. Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C). .

1973 - . Launch Site: Aberporth. Launch Vehicle: Petrel. LV Configuration: Petrel D.
  • Target - . Nation: UK. Agency: MOD. Apogee: 1.00 km (0.60 mi).

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.

1988 December 11 - . 00:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V27.
  • Skynet 4B - . Mass: 1,433 kg (3,159 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: ECS/OTS. Completed Operations Date: 1988-06-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 19687 . COSPAR: 1988-109A. Apogee: 35,967 km (22,348 mi). Perigee: 35,933 km (22,327 mi). Inclination: 7.5000 deg. Period: 1,444.40 min. British military communications; 1 deg W. Military communications. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 1 deg W in 1989-1990; 53 deg E in 1990-1998 As of 4 September 2001 located at 60.05 deg E drifting at 2.136 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 126.32E drifting at 2.116W degrees per day.

1990 January 1 - . 00:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Commercial Titan 3. LV Configuration: Commercial Titan 3 CT-1.
  • Skynet 4A - . Payload: Skynet 4A [PAM-D2] / JCSat 2 [Orbus-7S]. Mass: 1,463 kg (3,225 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: ECS/OTS. USAF Sat Cat: 20401 . COSPAR: 1990-001A. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,782 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 5.5000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. British military communications; 6 deg E. Military communications. Expected life approx 7 years. Owner/operator: Ministry of Defence, Main Building, Whitehall, London SW1A 2HB. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 6 deg E in 1990; 29 deg E in 1991; 65 deg E in 1991; 34 deg W in 1992-1999 As of 5 September 2001 located at 34.01 deg W drifting at 0.003 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 63.46W drifting at 4.595W degrees per day.

1990 August 30 - . 22:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44LP. LV Configuration: Ariane 44LP V38.
  • Skynet 4C - . Mass: 1,463 kg (3,225 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: ECS/OTS. USAF Sat Cat: 20776 . COSPAR: 1990-079A. Apogee: 35,793 km (22,240 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 2.0000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. UK military communications; 1 deg W. United Kingdom military communications satellite. Owner/operator: UK Ministry of Defence. Expected operational life 10 years. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 1 deg W in 1990-1999 As of 3 September 2001 located at 0.97 deg W drifting at 0.002 deg E per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 1.27W drifting at 0.000W degrees per day.

1998 January 10 - . 00:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC17B. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7925-9.5. LV Configuration: Delta 7925-9.5 D252.
  • Skynet 4D - . Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Manufacturer: Martin. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: ECS/OTS. USAF Sat Cat: 25134 . COSPAR: 1998-002A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,776 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 3.9000 deg. Period: 1,436.00 min. Summary: Geostationary at 52.8 degrees E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 53 deg E in 1998-1999; moving As of 4 September 2001 located at 34.00 deg W drifting at 0.004 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 34.33W drifting at 0.016W degrees per day..

1999 February 26 - . 22:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L V116.
  • Skynet 4E - . Mass: 1,490 kg (3,280 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Manufacturer: Stevenage. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: ECS/OTS. USAF Sat Cat: 25639 . COSPAR: 1999-009B. Apogee: 35,796 km (22,242 mi). Perigee: 35,777 km (22,230 mi). Inclination: 7.2000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Skynet 4E was a SHF/UHF military communications satellite for the UK Ministry of Defense. Dry mass was 759 kg; it used a Thiokol Star 30 solid apogee motor. Stationed at 53 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 53 deg E in 1999. As of 5 September 2001 located at 52.91 deg E drifting at 0.000 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 53.02E drifting at 0.005E degrees per day.

2001 February 7 - . 23:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Kourou. Launch Complex: Kourou ELA2. LV Family: Ariane. Launch Vehicle: Ariane 44L. LV Configuration: Ariane 44L-3 V139.
  • Skynet 4F - . Mass: 2,596 kg (5,723 lb). Nation: UK. Agency: MoD. Manufacturer: Alenia. Program: Skynet. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft: ECS/OTS. USAF Sat Cat: 26695 . COSPAR: 2001-005B. Apogee: 35,801 km (22,245 mi). Perigee: 35,772 km (22,227 mi). Inclination: 2.9000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Skynet 4F was a communications satellite for the UK Ministry of Defense, and the last of the venerable ECS (European Communications Satellite) class of satellites built by Astrium/Stevenage. It carried a Thiokol Star 30 apogee motor and its mass was 1489 kg full, 830 kg dry - a dry mass more than twice the first OTS. The spacecraft carried a total of eight transponders in the SHF-, UHF-, and S-bands to provide secure communications after parking over either 1 deg-E or 6 deg-W. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 6 deg E in 2001 As of 5 September 2001 located at 8.77 deg E drifting at 0.284 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 6.01E drifting at 0.004E degrees per day.

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