Encyclopedia Astronautica
STEP


Space Test Experiment Program; series of USAF technology test satellites.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • TAOS American military strategic defense satellite. One launch, 1994.03.13, USA 101. TAOS was a technology demonstration satellite whose purpose was to demonstrate autonomous space navigation systems to reduce satellite ground support needs. More...
  • Eagle American military strategic defense satellite. 3 launches, 1994.05.19 (STEP 2 (SIDEX)) to 1997.10.22 (STEP-4). More...
  • STEP American technology satellite. 2 launches, 1995.06.22 (STEP 3) and 2000.06.07 (TSX 5). More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Pegasus/HAPS American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Five stage version consisting of 1 x NB-52 + 1 x Orion 50S + 1 x Orion 50 + 1 x Orion 38 + 1 x HAPS More...
  • ARPA Taurus American all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Four stage version consisting of 1 x TU-904 + 1 x Orion 50 + 1 x Orion 50 + 1 x Orion 38 More...
  • Pegasus XL American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Uprated version of Pegasus air-launched winged light satellite launcher. 4 stage vehicle consisting of 1 x L-1011 + 1 x Pegasus XL stage 1 + 1 x Orion 50XL + 1 x Orion 38. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • USAF STP American agency overseeing development of spacecraft. USAF STP, USA. More...
  • OSC American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Orbital Sciences Corporation, 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...
  • Point Arguello WADZ Air-launched rocket drop zone known to have been used for 28 launches from 1990 to 2007, reaching up to 4539 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Wallops Island DZ Air-launched rocket drop zone known to have been used for 6 launches from 1996 to 1999, reaching up to 834 kilometers altitude. More...

STEP Chronology


1994 March 13 - . 22:32 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg 576E. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: ARPA Taurus. LV Configuration: ARPA Taurus T1 1110.
  • USA 101 - . Payload: STEP-0 / STEP M0. Mass: 502 kg (1,106 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: STEP. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: TAOS. USAF Sat Cat: 23030 . COSPAR: 1994-017A. Apogee: 561 km (348 mi). Perigee: 555 km (344 mi). Inclination: 105.0000 deg. Period: 95.80 min. Summary: Space Test Experiment Program; 10 satellite subsystem experiments. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1994 May 19 - . 17:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: NB-52 008. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus/HAPS. LV Configuration: Pegasus/HAPS 005/F5.
  • 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: 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. Summary: Did not achieve planned orbit, though still useful. Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

1994 June 27 - . 21:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. LV Configuration: Pegasus XL F6. FAILURE: Destroyed on launch . Failed Stage: 1.
  • STEP 1 - . Payload: STEP M1 / P90-1. Nation: USA. Agency: OSC. Program: STEP. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. Spacecraft: Eagle. COSPAR: F940627A. Apogee: 38 km (23 mi). Summary: Destroyed on launch .

1995 June 22 - . 19:58 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. LV Configuration: Pegasus XL F9. FAILURE: Second stage failure; destroyed by range safety.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • STEP 3 - . Payload: STEP M3. Mass: 267 kg (588 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Program: STEP. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: STEP. Decay Date: 1995-06-22 . COSPAR: F950622A. Apogee: 144 km (89 mi). Summary: Space Test Experiment Platform..

1997 October 22 - . 13:13 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island DZ. Launch Pad: 37.0 N x 72.0 W. Launch Platform: L-1011. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. LV Configuration: Pegasus XL F18.
  • STEP-4 - . Payload: STEP M4. Nation: USA. Agency: USAF STP. Program: STEP. Class: Military. Type: Strategic defense satellite. 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.

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