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XSS-11 computer model
Mission typeTechnology
COSPAR ID2005-011A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.28636Edit this on Wikidata
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Launch mass100 kilograms (220 lb)
Start of mission
Launch dateApril 11, 2005 (2005-04-11)
RocketMinotaur I
Launch siteVandenberg SLC-8
End of mission
Decay dateNovember 11, 2013 (2013-11-12)[1]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude839 kilometers (521 mi)
Apogee altitude875 kilometers (544 mi)
Inclination98.8& degrees
Period102.1 minutes

USA-165 or XSS-11[2] (Experimental Satellite System-11) is a small, washing-machine-sized, low-cost spacecraft developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate to test technology for proximity operations. In particular, the satellite was designed to demonstrate "autonomous rendezvous and proximity maneuvers." In other words, it would approach, investigate, and photograph other spacecraft in Earth orbit. It would help test the feasibility of in-space inspection and repair. The spacecraft was also designed to test systems that would allow the spacecraft to maneuver autonomously.

USA-165 was built by Lockheed Martin and weighed 125 kg with an excess of 600 m/s delta-v. USA-165 was launched into Low Earth Orbit on April 11, 2005, on a Minotaur rocket and remained in its primary orbit for over eighteen months, but then in December 2006 it was maneuvered into a disposal orbit and lost to satellite spotters. USA-165 was later rediscovered by amateur satellite watcher Kevin Fetter.[3] The satellite re-entered the atmosphere on November 11, 2013.[1]

The NASA GRAIL spacecraft design was based on XSS-11 design.

See also


  1. ^ a b "XSS-11". National Space Science Data Center. NASA. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  2. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  3. ^ "What's up in space". 2010-10-05.