Encyclopedia Astronautica
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.

Launched by "Blue-Scout" boosters, the system would operate for one year until TIROS could take over. Program II began officially on 1 August 1961. Colonel Thomas Haig accepted the program director's position on three conditions: that he could use fixed-price, firm-schedule contracts; that he could select the personnel for his program office; and, that he did not have to use a civilian system engineering and technical direction (SE&TD) contractor. When TIROS delays persisted, Program II continued as Program 35. Confronted by problems of operating the meteorological satellites within the ground system designed for CORONA, Haig proposed two dedicated ground stations and a separate control center operated solely by Air Force personnel-no contractors. Ten months later the nation's first operational satellite program manned entirely by Air Force military personnel became a reality.

After the "Blue Scout" booster proved inadequate, Haig proposed refurbishing Thor intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) and adding a second stage plus parts from other boosters to create a new launch vehicle. The latter, dubbed "Burner I," solved the booster problems and simultaneously provided a convenient way to dispose of an embarrassing excess of Thors returned from Europe. No longer an "interim" effort, the military weather satellite received yet another name-Program 417. Its use was expanded to provide information on cloud cover for aircraft flights during the Cuban missile crisis, the evacuation of civilians from the Congo, and air operations in Vietnam.

Haig and his "blue-suit" crew were deeply involved in engineering and development aspects of the program. They designed essential parts for the Burner boosters, invented magnetic spin-rate control of the satellite, conceived and introduced innovations which greatly reduced the cost of ground stations, and developed simplified tracking software. The precedents established and attitudes generated in Haig's program office persisted long after the military meteorological satellite program was declassified and dubbed the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). The satellite series continued to be updated and served into the 21st Century.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Program 35 American earth weather satellite. 5 launches, 1962.05.24 (P 35-1) to 1963.09.27 (P 35-1). First US weather satellite, classified for many years. Predecessor to the DMSP series of military satellites. More...
  • DMSP Block 4A American earth weather satellite. 13 launches, 1965.01.19 (DMSP-Block-4A F1) to 1969.07.23 (DMSP-Block-4A F13). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • DMSP Block 5A American earth weather satellite. 3 launches, 1970.02.11 (DMSP-Block-5A F1) to 1971.02.17 (DMSP Block 5A F3). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • DMSP Block 5B American earth weather satellite. 5 launches, 1971.10.14 (DMSP-Block-5B F1) to 1974.03.16 (DMSP-Block-5B F5). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • DMSP Block 5C American earth weather satellite. 3 launches, 1974.08.09 (DMSP-Block-5C F1) to 1976.02.19 (DMSP-Block-5C F3). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • DMSP Block 5D American earth weather satellite. 5 launches, 1976.09.11 (AMS 1) to 1980.07.15 (AMS 5). Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. More...
  • DMSP Block 5D-2 American earth weather satellite. 9 launches, 1982.12.21 (AMS 5) to 1997.04.04 (USA 131). DMSP 5D-2 was the military's sixth generation of weather satellites. More...
  • DMSP Block 5D-3 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. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • 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...
  • Scout X-2M American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 1D + 1 x Castor + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x MG-18 More...
  • Scout X-3M American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 2A + 1 x Castor + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x MG-18 More...
  • Scout X-2B American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Algol 1D + 1 x Castor + 1 x Antares 2 + 1 x Altair 2 More...
  • Thor MG-18 American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-18A + 1 x MG-18 More...
  • Thor Burner 1 American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-18A + 1 x FW4S More...
  • Thor Burner 2 American orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-18A + 1 x Star 37B More...
  • Thor Burner 2A American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 1 x Thor DM-18A + 1 x Star 37B + 1 x Star 26B More...
  • Titan 2G American intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Space launch version, obtained through minimal refurbishment of decommissioned ICBM's. 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...
  • AFSC American agency. Air Force Systems Command, USA. More...
  • RCA American manufacturer of spacecraft. RCA, USA. 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...

DMSP Chronology


1962 May 24 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-2M. LV Configuration: Scout X-2M S112. FAILURE: Failure.. Failed Stage: U.
  • P 35-1 - . Payload: FTV 3501. Nation: USA. Agency: AFSC. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Program 35. Decay Date: 1962-05-24 . COSPAR: F620524A. Summary: Military weather satellite to provide targetting information for reconnaisance satellites..

1962 August 23 - . 11:44 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-2M. LV Configuration: Scout X-2M S117.
  • P 35-2 - . Mass: 91 kg (200 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Program 35. USAF Sat Cat: 369 . COSPAR: 1962-A-Omicron-1. Apogee: 752 km (467 mi). Perigee: 578 km (359 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 98.10 min. Summary: Military weather satellite to provide targetting information for reconnaisance satellites..

1963 February 19 - . 16:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-3M. LV Configuration: Scout X-3M S126.
  • P 35-3 - . Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Program 35. Decay Date: 1979-12-26 . USAF Sat Cat: 533 . COSPAR: 1963-005A. Apogee: 810 km (500 mi). Perigee: 488 km (303 mi). Inclination: 100.5000 deg. Period: 97.80 min. Summary: Military weather satellite to provide targetting information for reconnaisance satellites..

1963 April 26 - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-2M. LV Configuration: Scout X-2M S121. FAILURE: Failure.. Failed Stage: U.
  • P 35-4 - . Payload: OPS 1298. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Program 35. Decay Date: 1963-04-26 . COSPAR: F630426B. Summary: Military weather satellite to provide targetting information for reconnaisance satellites..

1963 September 27 - . 11:17 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC5. LV Family: Scout. Launch Vehicle: Scout X-2B. LV Configuration: Scout X-2B S132. FAILURE: Failure.. Failed Stage: U.
  • P 35-5 - . Payload: OPS 1610. Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: Program 35. Decay Date: 1963-09-27 . COSPAR: F630927A. Summary: Military weather satellite to provide targetting information for reconnaisance satellites..

1965 January 19 - . 05:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor MG-18. LV Configuration: Thor MG-18 224.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F1 - . Payload: DAPP 10 / OPS 7040. Mass: 150 kg (330 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. Decay Date: 1979-07-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 973 . COSPAR: 1965-003A. Apogee: 833 km (517 mi). Perigee: 462 km (287 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 97.60 min. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Launch date was January 18, 1965. The launch was successful and correct orbit was achieved. However, the heat shield on the second stage did not deploy correctly and the mission objectives were not fully realized. This first Burner I bird is distinguishable in photos by its black second stage.

1965 March 18 - . 04:43 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor MG-18. LV Configuration: Thor MG-18 306.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F2 - . Payload: DAPP 11 / OPS 7353. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. Decay Date: 1989-12-31 . USAF Sat Cat: 1273 . COSPAR: 1965-021A. Apogee: 146 km (90 mi). Perigee: 139 km (86 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 87.30 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. A fully successful launch with all objectives met. The night launch time of 2100 hrs Vandenberg time with a 5 minute launch window was the same for both the first and second Burner I launches..

1965 May 20 - . 16:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 1. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 1 282.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F3 - . Payload: DAPP 12 / OPS 8386. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 1377 . COSPAR: 1965-038A. Apogee: 731 km (454 mi). Perigee: 503 km (312 mi). Inclination: 98.1000 deg. Period: 97.10 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1965 September 10 - . 04:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 1. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 1 213.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F4 - . Payload: DAPP 13 / OPS 8068. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 1580 . COSPAR: 1965-072A. Apogee: 993 km (617 mi). Perigee: 635 km (394 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 101.20 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1966 January 8 - . 04:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 1. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 1 251. FAILURE: Second stage failed.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F5 - . Payload: DAPP 14/OPS 2394. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. Decay Date: 1966-01-06 . COSPAR: F660108A. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1966 March 31 - . 05:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 1. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 1 147.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F6 - . Payload: DAPP 15 / OPS 0340. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 2125 . COSPAR: 1966-026A. Apogee: 855 km (531 mi). Perigee: 604 km (375 mi). Inclination: 98.3000 deg. Period: 99.40 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1966 September 16 - . 04:36 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 167.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F7 - . Payload: DAPP 1416 (FTV-3) / OPS 6026. Mass: 125 kg (275 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 2418 . COSPAR: 1966-082A. Apogee: 857 km (532 mi). Perigee: 674 km (418 mi). Inclination: 98.3000 deg. Period: 100.20 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1967 February 8 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 169.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F8 - . Payload: DAPP 2418 (FTV-2) / OPS 6073. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 2669 . COSPAR: 1967-010A. Apogee: 846 km (525 mi). Perigee: 771 km (479 mi). Inclination: 99.1000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program; lower than planned orbit, but still operational..

1967 August 23 - . 04:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 266.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F9 - . Payload: DAPP 3419 (FTV-4) / OPS 7202. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 2920 . COSPAR: 1967-080A. Apogee: 873 km (542 mi). Perigee: 818 km (508 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1967 October 11 - . 07:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 268.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F10 - . Payload: DAPP 4417 (FTV-5) / OPS 1264. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 2980 . COSPAR: 1967-096A. Apogee: 796 km (494 mi). Perigee: 638 km (396 mi). Inclination: 99.2000 deg. Period: 99.10 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1968 May 23 - . 04:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 277.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F11 - . Payload: DAPP 4B F-1 (FTV-8) / OPS 7869. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 3266 . COSPAR: 1968-042A. Apogee: 883 km (548 mi). Perigee: 806 km (500 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.80 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1968 October 23 - . 04:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 173.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F12 - . Payload: DAPP 6422 (FTV-7) / OPS 4078. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 3510 . COSPAR: 1968-092A. Apogee: 828 km (514 mi). Perigee: 783 km (486 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.00 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1969 July 23 - . 04:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 279.
  • DMSP-Block-4A F13 - . Payload: DAPP 7421 (FTV-6) / OPS 1127. Mass: 130 kg (280 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 4A. USAF Sat Cat: 4047 . COSPAR: 1969-062A. Apogee: 835 km (518 mi). Perigee: 768 km (477 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1970 February 11 - . 08:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 287.
  • DMSP-Block-5A F1 - . Payload: DAPP 1524 / OPS 0054. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 4331 . COSPAR: 1970-012A. Apogee: 840 km (520 mi). Perigee: 749 km (465 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1970 September 3 - . 08:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 288.
  • DMSP-Block-5A F2 - . Payload: DAPP 2525 / OPS 0203. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 4512 . COSPAR: 1970-070A. Apogee: 837 km (520 mi). Perigee: 739 km (459 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 100.60 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1971 February 17 - . 03:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2 249.
  • DMSP-Block-5A F3 - . Payload: DAPP 3526 / OPS 5268. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5A. USAF Sat Cat: 4953 . COSPAR: 1971-012A. Apogee: 799 km (496 mi). Perigee: 741 km (460 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 100.20 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1971 October 14 - . 07:51 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2A. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2A 159.
  • DMSP-Block-5B F1 - . Payload: DMSP 4527 / OPS 4311. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5B. USAF Sat Cat: 5557 . COSPAR: 1971-087A. Apogee: 850 km (520 mi). Perigee: 772 km (479 mi). Inclination: 99.1000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1972 March 24 - . 08:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2A. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2A 153.
  • DMSP-Block-5B F2 - . Payload: DMSP 5528 / OPS 5058. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5B. USAF Sat Cat: 5903 . COSPAR: 1972-018A. Apogee: 858 km (533 mi). Perigee: 781 km (485 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.30 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1972 November 9 - . 03:23 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2A. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2A 294.
  • DMSP-Block-5B F3 - . Payload: DMSP 6530 / OPS 7323. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5B. USAF Sat Cat: 6275 . COSPAR: 1972-089A. Apogee: 841 km (522 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1973 August 17 - . 04:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2A. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2A 291.
  • DMSP-Block-5B F4 - . Payload: DMSP 7529 / OPS 8364. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5B. USAF Sat Cat: 6787 . COSPAR: 1973-054A. Apogee: 819 km (508 mi). Perigee: 779 km (484 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1974 March 16 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2A. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2A 207.
  • DMSP-Block-5B F5 - . Payload: DMSP 8531 / OPS 8579. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5B. USAF Sat Cat: 7218 . COSPAR: 1974-015A. Apogee: 846 km (525 mi). Perigee: 757 km (470 mi). Inclination: 99.1000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1974 August 9 - . 03:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2A. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2A 275.
  • DMSP-Block-5C F1 - . Payload: DMSP 9532 / OPS 6983. Mass: 195 kg (429 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5C. USAF Sat Cat: 7411 . COSPAR: 1974-063A. Apogee: 844 km (524 mi). Perigee: 779 km (484 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1975 May 24 - . 03:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2A. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2A 197.
  • DMSP-Block-5C F2 - . Payload: DMSP 10533 / OPS 6226. Mass: 194 kg (427 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5C. USAF Sat Cat: 7816 . COSPAR: 1975-043A. Apogee: 880 km (540 mi). Perigee: 794 km (493 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1976 February 19 - . 07:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor Burner 2A. LV Configuration: Thor Burner 2A 182. FAILURE: Early booster cut-off due to incorrect calculation of the Thor fuel load.. Failed Stage: G.
  • DMSP-Block-5C F3 - . Payload: DMSP 11534/Star 26B S/N 009 / OPS 5140. Mass: 175 kg (385 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5C. Decay Date: 1976-02-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 8696 . COSPAR: 1976-016A. Apogee: 361 km (224 mi). Perigee: 89 km (55 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 88.90 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program; unusable orbit. Last of the Thor Burner missions..

1976 September 11 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2U. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2U 172.
  • AMS 1 - . Payload: DMSP 5D S-1 / OPS 5721. Mass: 450 kg (990 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D. USAF Sat Cat: 9415 . COSPAR: 1976-091A. Apogee: 833 km (517 mi). Perigee: 804 km (499 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 101.30 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1977 June 5 - . 02:59 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2U. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2U 183.
  • AMS 2 - . Payload: DMSP 5D S-2/Star 37S S/N 15003 / OPS 5644. Mass: 450 kg (990 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D. USAF Sat Cat: 10033 . COSPAR: 1977-044A. Apogee: 849 km (527 mi). Perigee: 788 km (489 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 101.30 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1978 May 1 - . 03:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2U. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2U 143.
  • AMS 3 - . Payload: DMSP 5D S-3 / OPS 6182. Mass: 513 kg (1,130 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D. USAF Sat Cat: 10820 . COSPAR: 1978-042A. Apogee: 799 km (496 mi). Perigee: 786 km (488 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1979 June 6 - . 18:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2U. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2U 264.
  • AMS 4 - . Payload: DMSP 5D S-5 / OPS 5390. Mass: 513 kg (1,130 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D. USAF Sat Cat: 11389 . COSPAR: 1979-050A. Apogee: 826 km (513 mi). Perigee: 805 km (500 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 101.20 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1980 July 15 - . 02:22 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC10W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Thor DSV-2U. LV Configuration: Thor DSV-2U 304. FAILURE: Separation problem gutted wiring from spacecraft.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • AMS 5 - . Payload: DMSP 5D S-4. Mass: 513 kg (1,130 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D. Decay Date: 1980-07-14 . COSPAR: F800715A. Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. Although there was a press release immediately after the launch (by the spacecraft SPO) that said the 2nd stage motor exploded, in reality the problem was found to be due to poor design of the electrical connectors between the 2nd and third stages and a separation problem that ripped the wiring out of the spacecraft.

1982 December 21 - . 02:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 60E / Star-37S-ISS.
  • AMS 5 - . Payload: DMSP S-6 / OPS 9845. Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 13736 . COSPAR: 1982-118A. Apogee: 810 km (500 mi). Perigee: 797 km (495 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.90 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1983 November 18 - . 06:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 58E / Star-37S-ISS.
  • DMSP-Block-5B5D2-2 - . Payload: DMSP S-7 / OPS 1294. Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 14506 . COSPAR: 1983-113A. Apogee: 818 km (508 mi). Perigee: 801 km (497 mi). Inclination: 98.4000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1987 June 20 - . 02:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 59E / Star-37S-ISS.
  • USA 26 - . Payload: DMSP S-9/Star 37S S/N 15019. Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 18123 . COSPAR: 1987-053A. Apogee: 848 km (526 mi). Perigee: 828 km (514 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.70 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1988 February 3 - . 05:53 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 54E / Star-37S-ISS.
  • USA 29 - . Payload: DMSP S-8/Star 37S S/N 15021. Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 18822 . COSPAR: 1988-006A. Apogee: 817 km (507 mi). Perigee: 807 km (501 mi). Inclination: 98.5000 deg. Period: 101.10 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1990 December 1 - . 15:57 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 61E / Star-37S-ISS. FAILURE: Failure of the spacecraft's TEM-364-15 AKM nozzle due to a manufacturing defect led to the satellite being placed into lower than planned orbit.. Failed Stage: P.
  • USA 68 - . Payload: DMSP S-10. Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 20978 . COSPAR: 1990-105A. Apogee: 837 km (520 mi). Perigee: 724 km (449 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 100.50 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program; broken nozzle prevented satellite from reaching desired orbit..

1991 November 28 - .
  • DMSP 5D-2 F11 - . Nation: USA. Program: DMSP. USAF Sat Cat: 37585 . COSPAR: 1991-082CR. Apogee: 839 km (521 mi). Perigee: 816 km (507 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 101.50 min.
  • USA 73 - . Payload: DMSP S-12/Star 37S S/N 15029. Mass: 830 kg (1,820 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 21798 . COSPAR: 1991-082A. Apogee: 852 km (529 mi). Perigee: 835 km (518 mi). Inclination: 99.0000 deg. Period: 101.80 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program. 500th Atlas launch..

1994 August 29 - . 17:38 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 20E / Star-37S-ISS.
  • USA 106 - . Payload: DMSP 23545/Star 37S S/N 15030 / DMSP 5D-1 F12. Mass: 830 kg (1,820 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 23233 . COSPAR: 1994-057A. Apogee: 860 km (530 mi). Perigee: 840 km (520 mi). Inclination: 98.8900 deg. Period: 101.94 min. Summary: Defense Meteorological Satellite Program..

1995 March 24 - . 14:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3W. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas E. LV Configuration: Atlas E 45E / Star-37S-ISS.
  • USA 109 - . Payload: DMSP 24547/Star 37S / DMSP F13. Mass: 750 kg (1,650 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 23533 . COSPAR: 1995-015A. Apogee: 854 km (530 mi). Perigee: 845 km (525 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 101.90 min. Summary: Last successful Atlas E space launch..

1997 April 4 - . 16:47 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC4W. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2G. LV Configuration: Titan II SLV 23G-6 / M68B-106 / 66-4317.
  • USA 131 - . Payload: DMSP 5D-2 F-14. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Manufacturer: RCA. Program: DMSP. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: DMSP Block 5D-2. USAF Sat Cat: 24753 . COSPAR: 1997-012A. Apogee: 855 km (531 mi). Perigee: 842 km (523 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 101.90 min.

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.

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