USA-207

USA-207

USA-207
Mission type Communications
Operator Classified
COSPAR ID 2009-047A
SATCAT № 35815
Spacecraft properties
Bus A2100
Manufacturer Lockheed Martin[1]
Start of mission
Launch date 8 September 2009, 21:35:00 (2009-09-08T21:35Z) UTC[2]
Rocket Atlas V 401
Launch site Cape Canaveral SLC-41
Contractor ULA
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Geostationary
Perigee 35,778 kilometers (22,231 mi)[3]
Apogee 35,807 kilometers (22,249 mi)[3]
Inclination 0.09 degrees[3]
Period 1436.12 minutes[3]
Epoch 10 January 2015, 14:22:18 UTC[3]

USA-207,[4] international COSPAR code 2009-047A,[5] also known as PAN, officially meaning Palladium At Night,[6] or P360[7] is a classified American communications satellite,[8] which was launched in September 2009. The US government has not confirmed which of its intelligence agencies will operate the satellite.[9] The spacecraft was constructed by Lockheed Martin, and is based on the A2100 satellite bus,[6] using commercial off-the-shelf components.[7] The contract to build PAN was awarded in October 2006, with the satellite initially scheduled to launch 30 months later, in March 2009.[10]

PAN was launched by United Launch Alliance using an Atlas V 401 carrier rocket, with the serial number AV-018. The launch, from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, occurred at 21:35 GMT on 8 September 2009, at the start of a 129 minute launch window.[11] PAN successfully separated from the rocket just under two hours after liftoff.[12]

PAN has shown an unusual history of frequent relocations, moving between at least 8 different orbital slots since launch: as of January 2013 it is located at 42.5 deg E.,[13] over East Africa.

Launch patch of PAN. Note the questionmark in the exhaust plume
The geostationary satellite PAN (2009-047A), along with two other (commercial) geostationary satellites photographed on 4 July 2011 (photo: Marco Langbroek, Leiden, the Netherlands)

References

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