NamesNavstar 2A-02
Mission typeNavigation
OperatorU.S. Air Force
COSPAR ID1991-047A [1]
SATCAT no.21552
Mission duration7.5 years (planned)
20 years (achieved)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeGPS Block IIA[2]
ManufacturerRockwell International
Launch mass840 kg (1,850 lb)
Dimensions5.3 m (17 ft) of long
Power710 watts
Start of mission
Launch date4 July 1991, 02:32:00 UTC
RocketDelta II 7925-9.5
(Delta D206) [3]
Launch siteCape Canaveral, LC-17A
ContractorMcDonnell Douglas
Entered service14 August 1991
End of mission
DisposalGraveyard orbit
Deactivated30 September 2011
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[4]
RegimeMedium Earth orbit
SlotD1 (slot 1 plane D)
Perigee altitude19,451 km (12,086 mi)
Apogee altitude20,250 km (12,580 mi)
Period704.60 minutes
← USA-66 (GPS IIA-1)
USA-79 (GPS IIA-3) →

USA-71, also known as GPS IIA-2, GPS II-11 and GPS SVN-24, is an American navigation satellite which forms part of the Global Positioning System. It was the second of nineteen Block IIA GPS satellites to be launched.


Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide all-weather round-the-clock navigation capabilities for military ground, sea, and air forces. Since its implementation, GPS has also become an integral asset in numerous civilian applications and industries around the globe, including recreational used (e.g., boating, aircraft, hiking), corporate vehicle fleet tracking, and surveying. GPS employs 24 spacecraft in 20,200 km circular orbits inclined at 55.0°. These vehicles are placed in 6 orbit planes with four operational satellites in each plane.[1]

GPS Block 2 was the operational system, following the demonstration system composed of Block 1 (Navstar 1 - 11) spacecraft. These spacecraft were 3-axis stabilized, nadir pointing using reaction wheels. Dual solar arrays supplied 710 watts of power. They used S-band (SGLS) communications for control and telemetry and Ultra high frequency (UHF) cross-link between spacecraft. The payload consisted of two L-band navigation signals at 1575.42 MHz (L1) and 1227.60 MHz (L2). Each spacecraft carried 2 rubidium and 2 Cesium clocks and nuclear detonation detection sensors. Built by Rockwell Space Systems for the U.S. Air force, the spacecraft measured 5.3 m across with solar panels deployed and had a design life of 7.5 years.[1]


USA-71 was launched at 02:32:00 UTC on 4 July 1991, atop a Delta II launch vehicle, flight number D206, flying in the 7925-9.5 configuration.[3] The rocket launched from Launch Complex 17A (LC-17A) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS),[5] and placed USA-71 into a transfer orbit. The satellite raised itself into medium Earth orbit using a Star-37XFP apogee motor.[2]


On 14 August 1991, USA-71 was in an orbit with a perigee of 19,451 km (12,086 mi), an apogee of 20,250 km (12,580 mi), a period of 704.60 minutes, and 55.30° of inclination to the equator.[4] It had PRN 24, and operated in slot 1 of plane D of the GPS constellation,[6] until it was removed from service on 30 September 2011. It was replaced by USA-232 launched in July 2011. The satellite has a mass of 840 kg (1,850 lb), and a design life of 7.5 years.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Display: Navstar 2A-02 1991-047A". NASA. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. "GPS-2A (Navstar-2A)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Trajectory: Navstar 2A-02 1991-047A". NASA. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 18 December 2020. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch List". Launch Vehicle Database. Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  6. ^ Wade, Mark. "Navstar". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 11 November 2002. Retrieved 10 July 2012.