Aeronautics and Space Report of the President FY 1995 Activities

Space Launch Activities

Expendable Launches

NASA launched three spacecraft on ELV's and supported one Space Shuttle launch with an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) during FY 1995. On November 1, 1994, a Delta II launched the Wind spacecraft, one in a series of spacecraft in the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) Program. This spacecraft was placed in an orbit where the gravitational fields of the Sun and Earth cancel each other out, enabling the spacecraft to measure the solar wind. On December 30, 1994, NASA launched the NOAA-J spacecraft on an Atlas E into a polar orbit, where it will provide visual infrared images and vertical temperature and moisture profiles. On May 23, 1995, NASA launched another weather satellite, NOAA's GOES-J (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite), on an Atlas I into a geostationary orbit, where it also will provide visible and infrared imaging and sounding capabilities. Finally, the NASA team provided an IUS to support the upper-stage trajectory requirements for the TDRS-G launch on July 13, 1995.

While FY 1995 included only a few NASA ELV launches, the NASA launch vehicle team also worked to prepare for FY 1996, in which nine launches are scheduled. During FY 1995, the team supported the Pegasus XL failure recovery and investigations and the Med-Lite (Taurus, Delta-Lite, and Delta II launch vehicles) contract negotiations with McDonnell Douglas.

DoD conducted several ELV launches during FY 1995. On December 22, 1994, a Titan IV successfully lifted Defense Support Program satellite flight #17 into a geosynchronous orbit (this was incorrectly reported as a May 3rd launch in the FY 1994 report). Two Air Force Titan IV's also delivered classified DoD payloads into their assigned orbits on May 14 and July 10, 1995. On March 24, 1995, the last Atlas E booster in the Air Force inventory successfully lifted a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite into orbit to replenish the DoD meteorological constellation. After this launch, DoD closed the Atlas E launch complex to reduce infrastructure costs. An Atlas IIA launched a Defense Satellite Communications System, block three (DSCS-III) satellite into orbit on July 31, 1995. On June 22, 1995, an Air Force Pegasus air-launched space vehicle carrying the Air Force Space Test Experiments Platform III (STEP-III) was destroyed when the vehicle veered from its planned flight path and began to break up.

In addition to Government launches, there were 12 commercial launches carried out from Government facilities and licensed and monitored by OCST (see table). The Air Force provided launch base and range support for these 12 commercial and civil ELV launches. This is a record number of commercial launches in 1 year and is more than double the launches carried out in FY 1994. These brought the total number of commercial launches conducted by U.S. industry to 52.

Commercial Launches in FY 1995

Martin Marietta
Martin Marietta
EER Systems
Martin Marietta
Martin Marietta
Lockheed Martin
Orbital Sciences
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
McDonnell Douglas
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin

Launch Vehicle

Atlas IIAS
Atlas IIA
Black Brant
Atlas IIAS
Atlas II
Atlas IIAS
Atlas IIA
Atlas II
Delta II
Atlas IIA


Intelsat 703
Intelsat 704
Intelsat 705
Orbcomm 1&2



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Curator: Lillian Gipson
Last Updated: September 5, 1996
For more information contact Steve Garber, NASA History Office,