Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles|
Appendix 3: Space Vehicles
Copyright © 2005-2007 Jos Heyman|
(HTML formatting by Andreas Parsch)
Launched on 11 April 2005 with a Minotaur launch vehicle from Vandenberg AFB, the 145 kg Experimental Satellite System (XSS)-11 satellite was built by Lockheed Martin to test autonomous space operations for the purpose of servicing and inspecting other satellites and spent rocket bodies. Sponsored by the USAF, it was essentially an anti-satellite experiment and the programme envisaged six to seven encounters with another space object over a period of 18 months. In addition the satellite carried the Naval Research Laboratory’s Miniature Space Ground Like System, a small transponder to communicate with the spacecraft, as well as an imaging sensor and a star tracker.
|Photo: Author's collection|
Designation Note: At the time of this writing, XSS-11 is not an official designation in the S-for-Satellite series. However, the official S-11 designator has been skipped to avoid confusion with the XSS-11, and it's possible that the official designation XSS-11A will be retroactively allocated to the XSS-11 satellite.
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