Encyclopedia Astronautica
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USAF STP
American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. USAF STP, USA.

AKA: USAF.

Country: USA. Spacecraft: Musketball, REX, STEP.



1971 June 8 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2.
  • SESP 70-1 - . Payload: P70-1 / Burner II No. 12 / OPS 3850. Mass: 260 kg (570 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Technology. Type: Military technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: SESP. Spacecraft: SESP. Decay Date: 1982-01-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 5285 . COSPAR: 1971-054A. Apogee: 580 km (360 mi). Perigee: 544 km (338 mi). Inclination: 90.2000 deg. Period: 95.80 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1971 August 7 - . 00:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576A2. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F.
  • OV1-20P - . Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: OV1. Spacecraft: OV1. Decay Date: 1971-08-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 5394 . COSPAR: 1971-067A. Apogee: 1,932 km (1,200 mi). Perigee: 136 km (84 mi). Inclination: 92.0000 deg. Period: 105.90 min.

    Atlas 76F, with two upper stage Orbital Vehicle propulsion modules, OV1-20 and 0V1-21, was launched from Vandenberg as part of SAMSO's Space Test Program (STP). This mission, STP 70-2, successfully placed six spacecraft with nine separate payloads into polar orbits. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A).

  • OV1-21P - . Mass: 70 kg (154 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: OV1. Spacecraft: OV1. USAF Sat Cat: 5397 . COSPAR: 1971-067B. Apogee: 896 km (556 mi). Perigee: 778 km (483 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Cannonball 2 - . Payload: LOADS 2. Mass: 364 kg (802 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Surveillance. Type: Radar calibration target. Spacecraft Bus: Cannonball. Spacecraft: Cannonball. Decay Date: 1972-01-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 5382 . COSPAR: 1971-067C. Apogee: 1,970 km (1,220 mi). Perigee: 133 km (82 mi). Inclination: 92.0000 deg. Period: 106.30 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • Musketball 1 - . Payload: RTDS. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Musketball. Spacecraft: Musketball. Decay Date: 1971-09-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 5383 . COSPAR: 1971-067D. Apogee: 859 km (533 mi). Perigee: 134 km (83 mi). Inclination: 87.6000 deg. Period: 94.60 min. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1971 October 17 - . 13:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Thor. Launch Vehicle: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D.
  • ASTEX - . Payload: P71-2 / Agena D. Mass: 1,500 kg (3,300 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: ASTEX. Spacecraft: ASTEX. USAF Sat Cat: 5560 . COSPAR: 1971-089A. Apogee: 761 km (472 mi). Perigee: 738 km (458 mi). Inclination: 92.7000 deg. Period: 99.80 min.

    Space Test Program Flight 71-2 (STP 71-2), a Thorad/Agena launch vehicle, inserted four payloads into orbit from Vandenberg. Space Test Program; technology experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A).


1976 May 22 - . 07:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout B-1.
  • P 76-5 - . Mass: 73 kg (160 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Technology. Type: Communications technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: P 76. Spacecraft: P 76. USAF Sat Cat: 8860 . COSPAR: 1976-047A. Apogee: 1,044 km (648 mi). Perigee: 981 km (609 mi). Inclination: 99.6000 deg. Period: 105.40 min.

    A Scout vehicle carrying a Space Test Program spacecraft was successfully launched from SLC-5 at the Western Test Range. The spacecraft, Flight P76-5, carried a wideband signals experiment sponsored by the Defense Nuclear Agency. Communications propagation experiments.


1983 June 27 - . 15:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout D-1.
  • HILAT - . Payload: Transit O-16 / P83-1. Mass: 55 kg (121 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Communications. Type: Military communications satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Transit. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 14154 . COSPAR: 1983-063A. Apogee: 818 km (508 mi). Perigee: 754 km (468 mi). Inclination: 82.0000 deg. Period: 100.60 min. Modification of Transit O-16 for military communications research. Officially: Spacecraft engaged in practical applications and uses of space technology such as weather or communication (US Cat C)..

1986 November 14 - . 00:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout G-1.
  • Polar Bear - . Payload: Transit O-16 / P 87-1. Mass: 125 kg (275 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Transit. Spacecraft: Transit. USAF Sat Cat: 17070 . COSPAR: 1986-088A. Apogee: 1,013 km (629 mi). Perigee: 955 km (593 mi). Inclination: 89.6000 deg. Period: 104.80 min.

    Tranist O-17 had been turned over to the National Air and Space Museum in 1976 and was displayed to the public for more than 8 years. In 1984, it was refurbished at APL and launched as the Polar Beacon Experiment and Auroral Research satellite to collect data for studying communications over the Earth’s polar regions.


1993 April 25 - . 13:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Edwards.. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus.
  • Alexis - . Payload: Alexis (P 89-1B). Mass: 115 kg (253 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Astronomy. Type: X-ray astronomy satellite. Spacecraft Bus: ALEXIS. Spacecraft: Alexis. USAF Sat Cat: 22638 . COSPAR: 1993-026A. Apogee: 746 km (463 mi). Perigee: 741 km (460 mi). Inclination: 69.8000 deg. Period: 99.70 min. Test of X-ray imaging sensors; solar array deployment malfunction. Spacecraft engaged in research and exploration of the upper atmosphere or outer space (US Cat B). Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ..

1994 May 19 - . 17:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Edwards.. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus/HAPS.
  • STEP 2 (SIDEX) - . Payload: STEP M2 / P 91-A. Mass: 180 kg (390 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Program: STEP. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Eagle. Spacecraft: Eagle. USAF Sat Cat: 23105 . COSPAR: 1994-029A. Apogee: 813 km (505 mi). Perigee: 597 km (370 mi). Inclination: 82.0000 deg. Period: 98.90 min. Did not achieve planned orbit, though still useful. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ..

1994 August 3 - . 14:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Edwards.. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus.
  • P90-6 APEX - . Payload: APEX/Orion 38. Mass: 260 kg (570 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: APEX. Spacecraft: APEX. USAF Sat Cat: 23191 . COSPAR: 1994-046A. Apogee: 2,534 km (1,574 mi). Perigee: 360 km (220 mi). Inclination: 69.9800 deg. Period: 114.82 min. Advanced Photovoltaic and Electronic Experiments; studied radiation and plasma effects on solar power systems. Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ..

1996 March 9 - . 01:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Vandenberg.. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • REX-II - . Mass: 85 kg (187 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Class: Earth. Type: Ionosphere satellite. Spacecraft Bus: REX. Spacecraft: REX. USAF Sat Cat: 23814 . COSPAR: 1996-014A. Apogee: 835 km (518 mi). Perigee: 799 km (496 mi). Inclination: 90.0000 deg. Period: 101.20 min. LEO Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ..

1997 August 29 - . 15:02 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Vandenberg.. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • FORTE - . Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Manufacturer: Los Alamos. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft Bus: FORTE. Spacecraft: FORTE. USAF Sat Cat: 24920 . COSPAR: 1997-047A. Apogee: 833 km (517 mi). Perigee: 799 km (496 mi). Inclination: 70.0000 deg. Period: 101.20 min.

    FORTE - 'Fast On-orbit Recording of Transient Events' - was a US Los Alamos National Laboratory satellite designed to study natural and artificial radio emissions from the ionosphere. This data was needed to develop technology for monitoring nuclear test ban treaties. Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ.


1997 October 22 - . 13:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island DZ. Launch Pad: RW04/22. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • STEP-4 - . Payload: STEP M4. Mass: 180 kg (390 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Program: STEP. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft Bus: Eagle. Spacecraft: Eagle. Decay Date: 2001-03-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 25013 . COSPAR: 1997-063A. Apogee: 500 km (310 mi). Perigee: 432 km (268 mi). Inclination: 45.0000 deg. Period: 93.80 min. Air dropped in Wallops Island DZ..

2000 June 7 - . 13:19 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello. Launch Complex: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: Aircraft from Vandenberg.. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL.
  • TSX 5 - . Payload: P95-2. Mass: 247 kg (544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Manufacturer: McLean. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft Bus: STEP. Spacecraft: STEP. USAF Sat Cat: 26374 . COSPAR: 2000-030A. Apogee: 1,695 km (1,053 mi). Perigee: 412 km (256 mi). Inclination: 68.9379 deg. Period: 106.19 min.

    Military Technology satellite. Launch delayed from May 20 and June 6. Fifth STEP (Space Test Experiments Program) satellite. The satellite's main section was the STRV-2 experiment module, sponsored by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the UK Ministry of Defense. This was to take infrared images of UK military aircraft at perigee, and then downlink data via laser. STRV-2 also carried vibration isolation and debris impact sensors. A secondary payload was the S97-1 CEASE (Compact Environmental Anomaly Sensor). This was an AFRL prototype sensor package to provide warning of spacecraft charging and radiation events. Air dropped in Point Arguello WADZ.


2000 July 19 - . 20:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC8. LV Family: Minuteman. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1.
  • 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 Bus: SA-200. 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.



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