Mission History

Below is a listing of previous Astrotech Space Operations missions.

GPS III SV02
Launch Date
August 22, 2019

The Lockheed Martin-built satellite, GPS III SV02 known as “Magellan” (in honor of Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator who led the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe), was carried to orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV (4,2) launch vehicle, the final flight for the Delta IV medium launch vehicle. Magellan will join the current GPS constellation comprised of 31 operational spacecraft, and will be the 21st M-Code-capable satellite added to the fleet. GPS satellites operate in Medium Earth Orbit at an altitude of approximately 20,200 km (12,550 miles) in six planes. Each satellite circles the Earth twice per day, providing the “Gold Standard” of position, navigation and timing services for billions of users worldwide.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Delta IV Medium

AEHF-5
Launch Date
August 8, 2019

The AEHF-5 satellite joins four previous satellites in the AEHF constellation launched by Atlas 5 rockets in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018. The first four AEHF satellites in orbit allowed the Air Force’s new generation of secure, nuclear-hardened voice, video and data relay spacecraft to span the globe. The addition of a fifth AEHF geostationary relay satellite will grow the network’s capacity and resiliency.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Atlas V

WGS-10
Launch Date
March 15, 2019

The WGS-10 satellite, built by the Boeing Space Systems, is an important element of the new high-capacity satellite communications system. Each WGS satellite provides more wideband communications capacity than the entire Defense Satellite Communications System.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Delta IV Medium

NROL-71
Launch Date
January 19, 2019

A Delta IV-Heavy rocket delivered to orbit a satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office.

Launch Site
VAFB
Vehicle
Delta IV Heavy

GPS III SV01
Launch Date
December 23, 2018

The United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS) delivers positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting vital U.S. and allied operations worldwide, and underpins critical financial, transportation, and agricultural infrastructure that billions of users have come to depend on daily. The United States Air Force’s first GPS III satellite will augment the current constellation of 31 operational GPS satellites.

This newest generation of GPS satellites is designed and built to deliver positioning, navigation, and timing information with three times better accuracy, and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capability. GPS is used by over four billion users and supports critical missions worldwide.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Falcon 9

AEHF-4
Launch Date
October 17, 2018

Built by Lockheed Martin, the AEHF 4 satellite joins three previous satellites in the AEHF constellation launched by Atlas 5 rockets in 2010, 2012 and 2013. With four AEHF satellites in orbit, the Air Force’s new generation of secure, nuclear-hardened voice, video and data relay spacecraft will provide global coverage.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Atlas V

ICESat-2
Launch Date
September 15, 2018

ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite 2), part of NASA's Earth Observing System, is a satellite mission for measuring ice sheet elevation and sea ice thickness, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics. The ICESat-2 project is being managed by Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The sole instrument was designed and built by the center, and the bus was provided by Orbital ATK. The satellite was launched on a Delta II rocket provided by United Launch Alliance. This was the last launch of the Delta ll launch vehicle.

Launch Site
VAFB
Vehicle
Delta II

Parker Solar Probe
Launch Date
August 12, 2018

Parker Solar Probe (PSP) is a NASA robotic spacecraft en route to probe the outer corona of the Sun. It will approach to within 8.86 solar radii (3.85 million miles) from the "surface" (photosphere) of the Sun and will travel, at closest approach, as fast as 430,000 mph. PSP will assess the structure and dynamics of the Sun's coronal plasma and magnetic field, the energy flow that heats the solar corona and impels the solar wind, and the mechanisms that accelerate energetic particles.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Delta IV Heavy

InSight
Launch Date
May 5, 2018

InSight is a robotic lander designed to study the interior of the planet Mars. The mission is expected to land on the surface of Mars (landing site: Elysium Planitia) on 26 November 2018, where it will deploy a seismometer and burrow a heat probe. It will also perform a radio science experiment to study the internal structure of Mars

Launch Site
VAFB
Vehicle
Atlas V

AFSPC-11
Launch Date
April 14, 2018

Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-11 is a dual-payload mission. The first payload is the Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM (CBAS) satellite. The secondary payload is the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) Augmented Geosynchronous Laboratory Experiment satellite (EAGLE). CBAS is a military satellite communications spacecraft destined for geosynchronous orbit to provide communications relay capabilities to support senior leaders and combatant commanders. EAGLE hosts experiments designed to detect, identify, and attribute threatening behavior as well as enhance space situational awareness.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Atlas V

GOES-S
Launch Date
March 1, 2018

NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-S) is the second satellite in a series of next-generation weather satellites. It will launch to a geostationary position over the U.S. to provide images of storms and help predict weather forecasts, severe weather outlooks, watches, warnings, lightning conditions and longer-term forecasting.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Atlas V

GRACE-FO
Launch Date
January 14, 2018

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on (GRACE-FO) mission is a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). The Mission will continue the work of tracking Earth's water movement to monitor changes in underground water storage, the amount of water in large lakes and rivers, soil moisture, ice sheets and glaciers, and sea level caused by the addition of water to the ocean.

Launch Site
VAFB
Vehicle
Falcon 9

ORS-5
Launch Date
August 26, 2017

Orbital ATK's Minotaur IV space launch vehicle launched the ORS-5 mission for the U.S. Air Force as a part of the Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 (OSP-3) contract. ORS-5, also known as SensorSat, is designed to scan for other satellites and debris to aid the U.S. military’s tracking of objects in geosynchronous orbit.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Minotaur IV

TDRS-M
Launch Date
August 18, 2017

The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite – (TDRS-M) is the last of a generation of NASA satellites providing communication and tracking services between orbiting spacecraft and ground control, supporting the International Space Station, Hubble Telescope, and other missions.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Atlas V

WGS-9
Launch Date
March 18, 2017

Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS-9) is the ninth satellite in the WGS constellation. WGS satellites are important elements of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capabilities to our troops in the field.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Delta IV Medium

EchoStar XIX
Launch Date
December 18, 2016

EchoStar XIX will be used by HughesNet, the country’s top-selling satellite internet services company, to shine spotbeams of coverage across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and regions of Central America from geosynchronous orbit

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Atlas V

WGS-8
Launch Date
December 7, 2016

The Wideband Global Satcom - 8 (WGS-8) spacecraft is the eighth satellite in the military’s communication constellation, whose first satellite launched in 2007. The Boeing-built WGS-8 satellite will be the first with an upgrade that allows it to provide an estimated 45 percent more bandwidth than previous WGS satellites.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Delta IV

GOES-R
Launch Date
November 19, 2016

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R Series (GOES-R) is the next generation of geosynchronous environmental satellite. It will provide atmospheric and surface measurements of the Earth’s Western Hemisphere for weather forecasting, severe storm tracking, space weather monitoring and meteorological research.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Atlas V

WorldView-4
Launch Date
November 11, 2016

WorldView-4 will provide DigitalGlobe's customers with high resolution and color imagery to commercial, government and international customers. The satellite will more than double the capacity of DigitalGlobe's fleet.

Launch Site
VAFB
Vehicle
Atlas V

AFSPC-6
Launch Date
August 19, 2016

The Air Force Space Command 6 (AFSPC-6) mission includes a second pair of Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program, or GSSAP, satellites that will monitor collision threats and nefarious activities in geosynchronous orbit for U.S. Strategic Command.

Launch Site
CCAFS
Vehicle
Delta IV Medium

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262 Spacecraft Successfully Processed To Date!