Encyclopedia Astronautica
DMSP Block 5D-3



dmspbl5d.jpg
DMSP Block 5D
Credit: USAF
American earth weather satellite. 4 launches, 1999.12.12 (USA 147) to 2009-10-18. Military spacecraft similar in design to the civilian NOAA weather satellites.

The main instrument was the Operational Linescan System (OLS) weather imager. The satellite also carried the SSMIS (microwave imager and sounder), SSULI ultraviolet limb imager, SSUSI ultraviolet spectrographic imager and nadir airglow-photometer, SSI/ES-3 thermal plasma instrument, the SSJ/5 precipitating particle spectrometer, and the SSF laser threat warning sensor.

First Launch: 1999.12.12.
Last Launch: 2009.10.18.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Delta IV The Delta IV was the world's first all-Lox/LH2 launch vehicle and represented the only all-new-technology launch vehicle developed in the United States since the 1970's. It was the winner of the bulk of the USAF EELV orders and was based on the all-new RS-68-powered Lox/LH2 cryogenic Common Booster Core (CBC). This could be used with new Delta cryogenic upper stages powered by the RL10 engine but unrelated to previous Centaur upper stages. 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...
  • Titan 2 American intercontinental ballistic missile. ICBM, developed also as the launch vehicle for the manned Gemini spacecraft in the early 1960's. When the ICBM's were retired in the 1980's they were refurbished and a new series of launches began. More...
  • Titan 2G American intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Space launch version, obtained through minimal refurbishment of decommissioned ICBM's. More...
  • Delta IV American orbital launch vehicle. The Delta IV was the world's first all-Lox/LH2 launch vehicle and represented the only all-new-technology launch vehicle developed in the United States since the 1970's. It was the winner of the bulk of the USAF EELV orders and was based on the all-new RS-68-powered Lox/LH2 cryogenic Common Booster Core (CBC). This could be used with new Delta cryogenic upper stages powered by the RL10 engine but unrelated to previous Centaur upper stages. It could be flown without augmentation, or use 2-4 large GEM-60 solid rocket boosters. The heavy lift version used two core vehicles as a first stage, flanking the single core vehicle second stage. More...
  • Delta IV Medium American orbital launch vehicle. Basic Delta-4 vehicle with no strap-ons, the core vehicle, and RL10B-1 upper stage with a 4 m diameter payload fairing. World's first all-cryogenic launch vehicle. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • Aerospace American manufacturer of spacecraft. Aerospace Corp, El Segundo, CA, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • DMSP The first CORONA photos in August 1960 convinced authorities that knowledge of cloud cover over Russia was necessary and could be obtained only via satellite. Since the civilian TIROS program could not yet meet the requirement, the Director, National Reconnaissance Office authorized an 'interim' effort - the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. The satellite series continued to be updated and served into the 21st Century. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

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 SLC4W Titan, Atlas launch complex. First designated PALC2-3 and used to launch Atlas Agena D with KH-7 spysats. Rebuilt in 1966 to handle Titan 3B with various military payloads. From 1988 used to launch refurbished surplus Titan 2 ICBM's in space launch role. More...

DMSP Block 5D-3 Chronology


1999 December 12 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-8 / M68B-44 + M68B-94.
  • USA 147 - . Payload: DMSP 5D-3 F-15. Mass: 1,154 kg (2,544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: RCA. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-3. USAF Sat Cat: 25991 . COSPAR: 1999-067A. Apogee: 846 km (525 mi). Perigee: 830 km (510 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Summary: First launch of the Block 5D-3 military weather satellite. Satellite F-15 was placed in an initial suborbital trajectory. The Star 37S kick motor on the satellite fired 13 minutes after launch for orbit insertion..

2003 October 18 - . 16:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-9 / M68B-107 / 66-4318/Star 37XFP.
  • USA 172 - . Payload: DMSP-16. Mass: 1,154 kg (2,544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-3. USAF Sat Cat: 28054 . COSPAR: 2003-048A. Apogee: 853 km (530 mi). Perigee: 843 km (523 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Summary: Final Titan 2 launch, LV dubbed "Cindy Marie". Originally to have launched January 2001. Launch postponed 12 times due to spacecraft and launch vehicle problems..

2006 November 4 - . 13:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC6. LV Family: Delta IV. Launch Vehicle: Delta IV Medium. LV Configuration: Delta 4M D4-7 (320) 4040.
  • DMSP-Block-5D3-F17 - . Mass: 1,154 kg (2,544 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-3. USAF Sat Cat: 29522 . COSPAR: 2006-050A. Apogee: 855 km (531 mi). Perigee: 841 km (522 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite with the Operational Linescan System camera, a microwave imager-sounder, ultraviolet spectrometers, particle detectors, a magnetometer, and a laser threat warning sensor. Reportedly went for a time into safe mode due to software problems after launch. The booster upper stage was conducted a maneuver to deorbit itself after placing the satellite in orbit. After the burn an explosion evidently occurred aboard the stage - dozens of objects were tracked in various orbits with perigees down to 670 km and apogees up to 851 km.

2009 October 18 - . 16:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401. LV Configuration: Atlas V 401 s/n AV017.
  • USA 210 - . Payload: DMSP 5D F-18. Mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-3. USAF Sat Cat: 35951 . COSPAR: 2009-057A. Apogee: 858 km (533 mi). Perigee: 843 km (523 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. After release of the weather satellite the Centaur AV-017 upper stage was tested, having enough propellant left over to escape the earth's gravity and enter solar orbit..

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