Encyclopedia Astronautica
Vandenberg 576E


Taurus, Pegasus, Atlas, OBV launch complex. Complex

Longitude: -120.6191 deg.
Latitude: 34.7396 deg.
First Launch: 1962.08.01.
Last Launch: 2004.05.20.
Number: 12 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • TAOS American military strategic defense satellite. One launch, 1994.03.13, USA 101. TAOS was a technology demonstration satellite whose purpose was to demonstrate autonomous space navigation systems to reduce satellite ground support needs. More...
  • DARPASAT American technology satellite. One launch, 1994.03.13, USA 102. GPS receiver and data processor technology tests. More...
  • Microstar American communications technology satellite. 22 launches, 1995.04.03 (Orbcomm F1) to 2008.10.19 (Formosat 3F). Small satellite bus, specially designed for multiple launch by Pegasus or Taurus family launch vehicles. More...
  • TiPS American tether technology satellite. 3 launches, 1996.05.12 (USA 123) to 1998.10.03 (USA 141). The 53 kg satellite consisted of 2 end masses connected by a 4 km tether. NRO (the National Reconnaissance Office) provided funding for the TiPS project. More...
  • GFO American earth resources radar satellite. One launch, 1998.02.10. GFO was a follow-on to the successful GEOSAT program which flew between 1985 and 1990. GFO was to provide real-time ocean topography data to 65 Navy users at sea and on shore. More...
  • Celestis American burial satellite. 4 launches, 1998.02.10 (Celestis-02) to 2008.08.03 (Celestis-4). Celestis offers the loved ones of the space-smitten deceases the opportunity to have (a portion) of their cremains put into orbit. More...
  • STEX American tether technology satellite. One launch, 1998.10.03. STEX's (Space Technology EXperiments) main equipment was provided by the Naval Research Laboratory. More...
  • ROCSAT Taiwanese earth sea satellite. 3 launches, 1999.01.27 (ROCSAT-1) to 2008.10.01 (ROCSAT 2). Taiwan's ROCSAT (Republic of China Satellites) were built for Taiwan's National Space Program Office. More...
  • ACRIMSAT American solar satellite. One launch, 1999.12.21. The NASA ACRIMSAT satellite was managed by JPL, and measured the integrated solar energy output from 0.2 to 2 microns. ACRIMSAT was built by Orbital Sciences. More...
  • KOMPSAT South Korean communications technology satellite. One launch, 1999.12.21. KOMPSAT was the first joint spacecraft development project for the South Korean aerospace agency KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute). More...
  • MTI American military surveillance satellite. One launch, 2000.03.12. The Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI) was a space-based research and development project sponsored by the U. More...
  • Orbview American civilian surveillance satellite. 2 launches, 2001.09.21 (Orbview-4) and 2003.06.26 (Orbview 3). More...
  • SBD American technology satellite. One launch, 2001.09.21. SBD, the Orbital Corporation Special Bus Design, was a 73 kg test version of an enlarged Microstar bus. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas F American intercontinental ballistic missile. Final operational version of Atlas ICBM. Differed in guidance systems. Deployed as missiles from 1961 to 1966. After retirement, the ICBM's were refurbished and used for over thirty years as space launch vehicles. More...
  • ARPA Taurus American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage version consisting of 1 x TU-904 + 1 x Orion 50 + 1 x Orion 50 + 1 x Orion 38 More...
  • Taurus American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Pad-launched launch vehicle using Pegasus upper stages and Castor-120 first stage. First launch used slightly larger Peacekeeper ICBM first stage instead of Castor-120. Under a 2002 contract from Boeing, Orbital developed a three-stage version of Taurus to serve as the interceptor boost vehicles for the US government's missile intercept system. The firm portion of the company's contract, awarded in early 2002, was valued at $450 million and extended through 2007. More...
  • OBV American anti-ballistic missile. Suborbital booster for the US Missile Defense Agency's Ground-based Midcourse Defense system's EKV ballistic missile kill vehicle. The basic OBV consisted of the upper three stages and guidance system from the Taurus orbital launch vehicle (essentially a wingless Pegasus-XL). The OBV was launched from an open pad; the operational version was to be silo-launched. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • 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 576E Chronology


1962 August 1 - . 21:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 15F.
  • Research and development test - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi). Summary: First successful Atlas F flight at operational site, SMS 576E (15F).

1963 March 24 - . 00:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 52F. FAILURE: Failure. Failed Stage: 1.
  • OT TALL TREE 4 operational test launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 10 km (6 mi).

1964 August 7 - . 20:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 110F.
  • Demonstration and shakedown operations launch - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1964 December 22 - . 19:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F. LV Configuration: Atlas F 111F.
  • ST - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF SAC. Apogee: 1,400 km (800 mi).

1994 March 13 - . 22:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: ARPA Taurus. LV Configuration: ARPA Taurus T1 1110.
  • USA 101 - . Payload: STEP-0 / STEP M0. Mass: 502 kg (1,106 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: STEP. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: TAOS. USAF Sat Cat: 23030 . COSPAR: 1994-017A. Apogee: 561 km (348 mi). Perigee: 555 km (344 mi). Inclination: 105.0000 deg. Period: 95.80 min. Summary: Space Test Experiment Program; 10 satellite subsystem experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • USA 102 - . Payload: DarpaSat. Mass: 203 kg (447 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: DARPASAT. USAF Sat Cat: 23031 . COSPAR: 1994-017B. Apogee: 556 km (345 mi). Perigee: 532 km (330 mi). Inclination: 105.0000 deg. Period: 95.50 min. Summary: GPS receiver and data processor technology tests. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B)..

1998 February 10 - . 13:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Taurus 2210. LV Configuration: Taurus 2210 T2.
  • GFO - . Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Manufacturer: Ball. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources radar satellite. Spacecraft: GFO. USAF Sat Cat: 25157 . COSPAR: 1998-007A. Apogee: 788 km (489 mi). Perigee: 786 km (488 mi). Inclination: 108.1000 deg. Period: 100.60 min. Summary: Altimeter..
  • Orbcomm G2 - . Payload: Orbcomm s/n FM4. Nation: USA. Agency: Orbcomm. Manufacturer: Germantown. Program: Orbcomm. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Microstar. USAF Sat Cat: 25159 . COSPAR: 1998-007C. Apogee: 871 km (541 mi). Perigee: 783 km (486 mi). Inclination: 107.9900 deg. Period: 101.45 min. Summary: Plane G. Ascending node 298.1 degrees..
  • Celestis-02 - . Payload: Celestis-02/Orion 38. Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Manufacturer: Germantown. Program: Celestis. Class: Burial . Type: Burial satellite. Spacecraft: Celestis. USAF Sat Cat: 25160 . COSPAR: 1998-007D. Apogee: 876 km (544 mi). Perigee: 780 km (480 mi). Inclination: 108.0000 deg. Period: 101.50 min.
  • Orbcomm G1 - . Payload: Orbcomm s/n FM3. Nation: USA. Agency: Orbcomm. Manufacturer: Germantown. Program: Orbcomm. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: Microstar. USAF Sat Cat: 25158 . COSPAR: 1998-007B. Apogee: 874 km (543 mi). Perigee: 781 km (485 mi). Inclination: 107.9900 deg. Period: 101.46 min. Summary: Plane G. Ascending node 297.9 degrees..

1998 October 3 - . 10:04 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: ARPA Taurus. LV Configuration: ARPA Taurus T3 1110.
  • STEX - . Payload: STEX. Nation: USA. Agency: NRO. Manufacturer: NRL. Class: Technology. Type: Ion engine technology satellite. Spacecraft: STEX. USAF Sat Cat: 25489 . COSPAR: 1998-055A. Apogee: 759 km (472 mi). Perigee: 744 km (462 mi). Inclination: 84.9859 deg. Period: 99.77 min. Tested TAL-D55 plasma engine and was to be part of the NRO's ATex tether experiment. The ATeX lower end mass was meant to remain attached to the STEX parent spacecraft, but with only 21 m of tether deployed, it appeared the tether was so far off vertical that automatic safety systems jettisoned the base to protect the remainder of the STEX satellite. Thus, the upper and lower ATeX end masses were in orbit as one object connected by a 21 m tether, and designated USA 141 (1998-055C). The main STEX satellite was in orbit as a separate object, 1998-055A.
  • USA 141 - . Payload: ATEX. Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; NRL. Class: Technology. Type: Tether technology satellite. Spacecraft: TiPS. USAF Sat Cat: 25615 . COSPAR: 1998-055C. Apogee: 766 km (476 mi). Perigee: 750 km (466 mi). Inclination: 84.9910 deg. Period: 99.90 min. NRO's ATeX (Advanced Tether eXperiment) reportedly failed on January 16. The ATeX lower end mass was meant to remain attached to the STEX parent spacecraft, but with only 21 m of tether deployed, it appeared the tether was so far off vertical that automatic safety systems jettisoned the base to protect the remainder of the STEX satellite. Thus, the upper and lower ATeX end masses were in orbit as one object connected by a 21 m tether, and designated USA 141 (1998-055C). The main STEX satellite was in orbit as a separate object, 1998-055A.

1999 December 21 - . 07:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Taurus 2110. LV Configuration: Taurus 2110 T4.
  • Kompsat - . Payload: Arirang. Mass: 470 kg (1,030 lb). Nation: Korea South. Agency: KARI. Manufacturer: KAIST. Class: Earth. Type: Sea satellite. Spacecraft: KOMPSAT. USAF Sat Cat: 26032 . COSPAR: 1999-070A. Apogee: 677 km (420 mi). Perigee: 670 km (410 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 98.20 min. Korean Multipurpose Satellite; carried an ocean color sensor developed by TRW and particle detectors. KOMPSAT was built by the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) based on a test model built by TRW; it used the TRW STEP Lightsat bus and had a mass of around 500 kg, with 73 kg of hydrazine fuel.
  • ACRIMSAT - . Mass: 115 kg (253 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; JPL. Manufacturer: Germantown. Class: Earth. Type: Seismology satellite. Spacecraft: ACRIMSAT . USAF Sat Cat: 26033 . COSPAR: 1999-070B. Apogee: 711 km (441 mi). Perigee: 671 km (416 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 98.60 min. Summary: Measured the integrated solar energy output from 0.2 to 2 microns. Carried instrument deleted from Terra spacecraft..
  • Celestis-03 - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Program: Celestis. Class: Burial . Type: Burial satellite. Spacecraft: Celestis. Decay Date: 1971-03-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 26034 . COSPAR: 1999-070C. Apogee: 723 km (449 mi). Perigee: 683 km (424 mi). Inclination: 98.3000 deg. Summary: Burial satellite containing cremated human remains..

2000 March 12 - . 09:29 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Taurus 1110. LV Configuration: Taurus 1110 T5.
  • MTI - . Mass: 587 kg (1,294 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Los Alamos. Manufacturer: Sandia. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: MTI. USAF Sat Cat: 26102 . COSPAR: 2000-014A. Apogee: 609 km (378 mi). Perigee: 574 km (357 mi). Inclination: 97.4003 deg. Period: 96.42 min. Summary: Military Technology. Sandia Multispectral Thermal Imager (MTI), aka USAF Space Test Program mission P97-3. The satellite was equipped with a hyperspectral imager for military target recognition / treaty monitoring applications..

2001 September 21 - . 18:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Taurus 2110. LV Configuration: Taurus 2110 T6. FAILURE: A problem a few seconds after first stage separation caused the rocket to go off course; it recovered and the remainder of the stages fired, but final cutoff velocity was too low to reach a sustainable orbit.. Failed Stage: G.
  • Orbview-4 - . Mass: 368 kg (811 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Orbimage. Manufacturer: OSC. Program: Orbview. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Orbview. COSPAR: F010921A. Launch delayed from June 27, July 18/22, August 12/21 and September1. The Orbital Sciences Taurus 2110 failed to remain in orbit. A problem a few seconds after first stage separation caused the T6 rocket to go off course; the rocket recovered and the remainder of the stages fired, but final cutoff velocity was too low to reach a sustainable orbit. The Castor 120 zero stage was on course but the Orion 50S first stage motor went off course. The satellites separated from the final stage as planned but burned up in the earth's atmosphere northeast of Madagascar before completing the first orbit. The final orbit was about 75-80 km x 425-430 km x 97 deg. The primary payload was the OrbView-4 imaging satellite. OrbView-4, built by Orbital, was a 368 kg box-shaped spacecraft carrying a 1-m resolution panchromatic camera and an 8-m resolution 200-channel hyperspectral imager with a 0.45-meter aperture. It was to be used by the US Air Force.
  • QuikTOMS - . Mass: 368 kg (811 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Orbimage. Manufacturer: OSC. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft: Microstar. COSPAR: F010921B. The QuikTOMS satellite was a NASA-GSFC project carrying the TOMS-5 ozone mapper. QuikTOMS used a 168 kg double Microstar bus and was to have replaced TOMS instruments on a delayed Russian weather satellite and the failed ADEOS. The loss of QuikTOMS put a hole in NASA's attempts to monitor the ozone layer.
  • SBD - . Mass: 368 kg (811 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Orbimage. Manufacturer: OSC. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: SBD. COSPAR: F010921C. SBD, the Orbital Sciences' Special Bus Design. The 73 kg satellite was a test version of an enlarged Microstar bus. It would have remained attached to the third stage, together with two Celestis burial canisters containing cremated human remains, and an experimental third stage avionics box.
  • Celestis-4 - . Mass: 368 kg (811 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Orbimage. Manufacturer: OSC. Program: Celestis. Class: Burial . Type: Burial satellite. Spacecraft: Celestis. COSPAR: F010921D. Summary: Celestis-4 consisted of two Celestis burial canisters containing cremated human remains. After the launch vehicle failure Celestis guaranteed a relaunch of back-up remains..

2003 February 6 - . 21:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. Launch Vehicle: OBV. LV Configuration: OBV 1.
  • BV-6 Boost Vehicle Test Flight - . Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Apogee: 1,810 km (1,120 mi). Successful first launch of the prototype of the three-stage version of the Taurus launch vehicle being developed by Orbital Sciences for Boeing for use in the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. The vehicle launched the dummy payload on a trajectory over the Pacific Ocean, reaching an altitude of 2100 km and traveling 6500 km down range.

2004 May 20 - . 17:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Taurus 3210. LV Configuration: Taurus 3210 T7 (XL).
  • ROCSAT 2 - . Payload: LeoStar 500XO. Mass: 760 kg (1,670 lb). Nation: Taiwan. Agency: NSPO. Manufacturer: EADS Astrium. Class: Surveillance. Type: Civilian surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: ROCSAT. USAF Sat Cat: 28254 . COSPAR: 2004-018A. Apogee: 891 km (553 mi). Perigee: 887 km (551 mi). Inclination: 99.1000 deg. Period: 102.80 min. Summary: Delayed from October, November 25, 2003; January 17, February 26, April 9 and 22, May 17, 2004..

2009 February 24 - . 09:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Taurus. LV Configuration: Taurus s/n T8. FAILURE: Payload fairing did not separate..
  • OCO - . Mass: 407 kg (897 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: McLean. Spacecraft: OCO. Summary: Orbiting Carbon Observatory..

2011 March 4 - . 10:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Taurus XL 3110. FAILURE: Fairing failed to separate..
  • Glory - . Nation: USA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Glory. COSPAR: 2011-F01A. Summary: Second failure of this vehicle in a row due to fairing not separating. NASA satellite that would have used an aerosol polarimetry sensor (APS) to provide a global map of aerosol particulates (soot and sulphates) to help calibrate climate change models..
  • E1P - . Nation: USA. Class: Science. Type: Science satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. COSPAR: 2011-F01B. Summary: Explorer 1 Prime, Montana State University Cubesat..
  • Hermes - . Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. COSPAR: 2011-F01C. Summary: University of Colorado Cubesat..
  • KySat-1 - . Nation: USA. Class: Technology. Type: Technology satellite. Spacecraft: Cubesat. COSPAR: 2011-F01D. Summary: University of Kentucky Cubesat..

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use