Encyclopedia Astronautica
NOSS



noss1.jpg
NOSS-1
Credit: USN
American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 22 launches, 1971.12.14 (OPS 7898 P/L 1) to 1993.08.02 (TLD). Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE.

NOSS detected the location of naval vessels using radio interferometry, and consisted of a main spacecraft and several subsatellites, linked by fine wires, several 100's of meters apart.

AKA: PARCAE; White Cloud.
Gross mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb).
First Launch: 1971.12.14.
Last Launch: 1993.08.02.
Number: 22 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Atlas E American intercontinental ballistic missile. Initial fully operational version of Atlas ICBM. Differed in guidance system from Atlas F. Deployed as missiles from 1960 to 1966. After retirement, the ICBM's were refurbished and used over twenty years as space launch vehicles. More...
  • 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...
  • Atlas H American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas H used the Atlas first stage developed for the Atlas G vehicle. It was flown without the Centaur upper stage. More...
  • Titan 4 American orbital launch vehicle. Developed to handle military payloads designed for launch on Shuttle from Vandenberg before the USAF pulled out of the Shuttle program after the Challenger disaster. Further stretch of core from Titan 34, 7-segment solid rocket motors (developed for MOL but not used until 25 years later). Enlarged Centaur G used as upper stage (variant of stage designed for Shuttle but prohibited for flight safety reasons after Challenger). Completely revised electronics. All the changes resulted in major increase in cost of launch vehicle and launch operations. More...
  • Titan 403A American orbital launch vehicle. Version of Titan 4 with no upper stage, configured for launch of lower-mass, higher-orbit Lacrosse, SDS and NOSS-2 payloads from Vandenberg. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USN American agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. USN Joint Task Force 7, USA. More...

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, Jonathon, "US Reconnaissance Satellite Programs Part 2", Quest, 1995, Volume 4, Issue 4, page 49.
  • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 1998.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. 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 SLC1W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC3W Delta, Atlas launch complex. First designated LC1-1 and used to launch Atlas Agena B with Samos payloads. After Samos cancellation, rebuilt in 1963 to support launch of KH-4 Corona spysats atop Thor-Agena. Refurbished in 1973 to accomodate surplus Atlas ICBM's in space launch role. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC3E Atlas V, Atlas launch complex. Atlas test facility, originally designated PALC1-2, then LC1-2, and finally upgraded to a Space Launch Facility in 1966. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC4E Titan, Atlas launch complex. First designated PALC2-4 and used to launch Atlas Agena D with KH-7 spysats. Rebuilt after MOL cancellation in 1970 to handle Titan 3D with KH-9 and KH-11 spysats. Upgraded in 1989-1990 for Titan 4. More...

NOSS Chronology


1971 December 14 - . 12:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC1W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thorad Agena D SLV-2G. LV Configuration: Thorad SLV-2G Agena D 568.
  • OPS 7898 P/L 1 - . Payload: NRL PL171 / OPS 7898. Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 5678 . COSPAR: 1971-110A. Apogee: 999 km (620 mi). Perigee: 983 km (610 mi). Inclination: 70.0000 deg. Period: 104.90 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; White Cloud (?) type spacecraft; test flight. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OPS 7898 P/L 2 - . Payload: NRL PL172 / OPS 7898. Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 5680 . COSPAR: 1971-110C. Apogee: 999 km (620 mi). Perigee: 983 km (610 mi). Inclination: 70.0000 deg. Period: 104.90 min. Summary: Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OPS 7898 P/L 3 - . Payload: NRL PL173 / OPS 7898. Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 5681 . COSPAR: 1971-110D. Apogee: 997 km (619 mi). Perigee: 982 km (610 mi). Inclination: 70.0000 deg. Period: 104.90 min. Summary: Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .
  • OPS 7898 P/L 4 - . Payload: NRL PL174 / OPS 7898. Nation: USA. Agency: NRL. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 5682 . COSPAR: 1971-110E. Apogee: 997 km (619 mi). Perigee: 981 km (609 mi). Inclination: 70.0000 deg. Period: 104.90 min. Summary: Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1976 April 30 - . 19:12 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F/MSD. LV Configuration: Atlas F/MSD 59F.
  • NOSS 1 (Whitecloud 1) - . Payload: PARCAE 1 / OPS 6431. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 8818 . COSPAR: 1976-038A. Apogee: 1,128 km (700 mi). Perigee: 1,092 km (678 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 107.50 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..

1977 December 8 - . 17:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F/MSD. LV Configuration: Atlas F/MSD 50F.
  • NOSS 2 - . Payload: PARCAE 2 / OPS 8781. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 10502 . COSPAR: 1977-112A. Apogee: 1,169 km (726 mi). Perigee: 1,054 km (654 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.50 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..

1980 March 3 - . 09:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F/MSD. LV Configuration: Atlas F/MSD 67F.
  • NOSS 3 - . Payload: PARCAE 3 / OPS 7245. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 11720 . COSPAR: 1980-019A. Apogee: 1,150 km (710 mi). Perigee: 1,035 km (643 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 107.10 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..
  • EP 2 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 11732 . COSPAR: 1980-019D. Apogee: 1,484 km (922 mi). Perigee: 730 km (450 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.41 min.

1980 December 9 - . 07:18 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E/MSD. LV Configuration: Atlas E/MSD 68E. FAILURE: Premature shut down of one of the Atlas booster engines turned the vehicle around, thereafter the sustainer thrust it back toward the earth.. Failed Stage: 1.
  • NOSS - . Payload: PARCAE 4. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. Decay Date: 1980-12-08 . COSPAR: F801209A. Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE. Other sources give the payload designation ABSAD. The failure was caused by a loss of lubricating oil to one of the booster engines, causing the engine to fail approx 200 milliseconds before it was to have shut down on guidance command. The asymmetric thrust pivoted the booster around approximately 180 degrees, where it stabilized in a retrofire attitude with the sustainer engine still firing. It descended back toward earth through its own exhaust flame and exploded a couple of minutes later.
  • SSU - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: NOSS. COSPAR: F801209B.
  • SSU - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: NOSS. COSPAR: F801209C.
  • SSU - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFSC. Spacecraft: NOSS. COSPAR: F801209D.

1983 February 9 - . 13:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6001H.
  • NOSS 4 - . Payload: PARCAE 5 / OPS 0252. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 13791 . COSPAR: 1983-008A. Apogee: 1,186 km (736 mi). Perigee: 1,063 km (660 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.80 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..
  • SSB - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 13845 . COSPAR: 1983-008F. Apogee: 1,489 km (925 mi). Perigee: 733 km (456 mi). Inclination: 63.3990 deg. Period: 107.42 min.

1983 June 9 - . 23:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6002H / 6002H.
  • NOSS 5 - . Payload: PARCAE 6 / OPS 6432. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 14112 . COSPAR: 1983-056A. Apogee: 1,167 km (725 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..

1984 February 5 - . 18:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6003H / 6003H.
  • NOSS 6 - . Payload: PARCAE 7 / OPS 8737. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 14690 . COSPAR: 1984-012A. Apogee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,052 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.00 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..

1986 February 9 - . 10:06 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6004H / 6004H.
  • USA 15 - . Payload: PARCAE 8. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 16591 . COSPAR: 1986-014A. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..

1987 May 15 - . 15:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas H. LV Configuration: Atlas H 6005H.
  • USA 22 - . Payload: PARCAE 9. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS. USAF Sat Cat: 17997 . COSPAR: 1987-043A. Apogee: 1,179 km (732 mi). Perigee: 1,045 km (649 mi). Inclination: 62.9000 deg. Period: 107.80 min. Summary: Ocean surveillance; aka White Cloud type spacecraft; Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite; PARCAE..

1993 August 2 - . 19:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4E. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 403A. LV Configuration: Titan 403A K-11 (45F-9). FAILURE: Failure.
  • TLD - . Payload: TLD. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFMC. Spacecraft: NOSS. COSPAR: F930802E. Apogee: 33 km (20 mi).
  • SSU - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFMC. Spacecraft: NOSS. COSPAR: F930802B. Apogee: 33 km (20 mi).
  • SSU - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFMC. Spacecraft: NOSS. COSPAR: F930802D. Apogee: 33 km (20 mi).
  • SSU - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF AFMC. Spacecraft: NOSS. COSPAR: F930802C. Apogee: 33 km (20 mi).

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