Encyclopedia Astronautica
NOSS-Subsat


American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 27 launches, 1976.04.30 (SSU 1 (NOSS 1)) to 1996.05.12 (USA 121). Detected the location of naval vessels using radio interferometry.

Deployed from NOSS. NOSS consisted of a main spacecraft and several subsatellites, linked by fine wires, several 100's of meters apart.

First Launch: 1976.04.30.
Last Launch: 1996.05.12.
Number: 27 .

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...
  • 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...
  • 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 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.
  • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 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 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-Subsat Chronology


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.
  • SSU 3 (NOSS 1) - . Payload: NOSS-Subsat 1-3. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 8884 . COSPAR: 1976-038J. Apogee: 1,324 km (822 mi). Perigee: 893 km (554 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 1..
  • SSU 1 (NOSS 1) - . Payload: NOSS-Subsat 1-1. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 8835 . COSPAR: 1976-038C. Apogee: 1,284 km (797 mi). Perigee: 932 km (579 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 1..
  • SSU 2 (NOSS 1) - . Payload: NOSS-Subsat 1-2. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 8836 . COSPAR: 1976-038D. Apogee: 1,286 km (799 mi). Perigee: 931 km (578 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 1..

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 / Star-37E.
  • SS 3 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 10594 . COSPAR: 1977-112F. Apogee: 1,168 km (725 mi). Perigee: 1,055 km (655 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.50 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 2..
  • SS 1 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 10529 . COSPAR: 1977-112D. Apogee: 1,169 km (726 mi). Perigee: 1,054 km (654 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.50 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 2..
  • SS 2 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 10544 . COSPAR: 1977-112E. Apogee: 1,168 km (725 mi). Perigee: 1,055 km (655 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.50 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 2..

1980 March 3 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas F/MSD. LV Configuration: Atlas F/MSD 67F.
  • EP-2 (NOSS 3) - . Payload: Plume shield / OPS 7245 DEB. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 11733 . COSPAR: 1980-019E. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,048 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 107.40 min.
  • EP 1 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 11731 . COSPAR: 1980-019C. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,048 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 3..
  • EP 3 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 11745 . COSPAR: 1980-019G. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,048 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 3. .

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.
  • SSA (NOSS 4) - . Payload: NOSS-Subsat 4-1 / OPS 0252 DEB. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 13835 . COSPAR: 1983-008D. Apogee: 1,164 km (723 mi). Perigee: 1,051 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Released from NOSS 4..
  • SSA - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 13844 . COSPAR: 1983-008E. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,051 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Released from NOSS 4..
  • SSC - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 13874 . COSPAR: 1983-008H. Apogee: 1,173 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,043 km (648 mi). Inclination: 63.5000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Released from NOSS 4..
  • SSD (NOSS 4) - . Payload: NOSS-Subsat 4-4. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 13834 . COSPAR: 1983-008C. Apogee: 1,419 km (881 mi). Perigee: 796 km (494 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.42 min. Summary: Released from NOSS 4. .

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.
  • GB1 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14143 . COSPAR: 1983-056C. Apogee: 1,167 km (725 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 5..
  • GB2 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14144 . COSPAR: 1983-056D. Apogee: 1,167 km (725 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 5..
  • GB3 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14180 . COSPAR: 1983-056G. Apogee: 1,166 km (724 mi). Perigee: 1,049 km (651 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.40 min.

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.
  • JD2 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14729 . COSPAR: 1984-012D. Apogee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,052 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.00 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 6..
  • JD3 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14795 . COSPAR: 1984-012F. Apogee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,052 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.00 min.
  • JD1 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 14728 . COSPAR: 1984-012C. Apogee: 1,172 km (728 mi). Perigee: 1,052 km (653 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.00 min. Summary: Deployed from NOSS 6..

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 16 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 16624 . COSPAR: 1986-014E. Apogee: 1,161 km (721 mi). Perigee: 1,055 km (655 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 107.40 min.
  • USA 17 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 16625 . COSPAR: 1986-014F. Apogee: 1,165 km (723 mi). Perigee: 1,055 km (655 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 107.40 min.
  • USA 18 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 16631 . COSPAR: 1986-014H. Apogee: 1,407 km (874 mi). Perigee: 817 km (508 mi). Inclination: 63.4140 deg. Period: 107.44 min.

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 24 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 18010 . COSPAR: 1987-043F. Apogee: 1,184 km (735 mi). Perigee: 1,046 km (649 mi). Inclination: 63.2000 deg. Period: 107.90 min.
  • USA 23 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 18009 . COSPAR: 1987-043E. Apogee: 1,170 km (720 mi). Perigee: 1,039 km (645 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg. Period: 107.30 min.
  • USA 25 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: USN. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 18025 . COSPAR: 1987-043H. Apogee: 1,178 km (731 mi). Perigee: 1,035 km (643 mi). Inclination: 62.6000 deg. Period: 107.60 min.

1996 May 12 - . 21:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4E. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 403A. LV Configuration: Titan 403A K-22 (45F-11).
  • USA 120 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; NRL. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 23907 . COSPAR: 1996-029B. Apogee: 1,157 km (718 mi). Perigee: 1,058 km (657 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg.
  • USA 121 - . Payload: SSU. Nation: USA. Agency: NRO; NRL. Class: Military. Type: Military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Spacecraft: NOSS-Subsat. USAF Sat Cat: 23908 . COSPAR: 1996-029C. Apogee: 1,160 km (720 mi). Perigee: 1,055 km (655 mi). Inclination: 63.4000 deg.

Home - Browse - Contact
© / Conditions for Use