Mission typeNavigation
OperatorUS Air Force
COSPAR ID1996-019A[1]
SATCAT no.23833[1]
Mission duration7.5 years (planned)[2]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeGPS Block IIA[2]
Launch mass1,816 kilograms (4,004 lb)[2]
Start of mission
Launch date28 March 1996, 00:21:00 (1996-03-28UTC00:21Z) UTC
RocketDelta II 7925-9.5, D234[3]
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17B[3]
End of mission
DisposalPlaced in a graveyard orbit
Deactivated2 August 2014, 22:00:00 (2014-08-02UTC23Z) UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeMedium Earth
Perigee altitude20,080 kilometres (12,480 mi)[4]
Apogee altitude20,284 kilometres (12,604 mi)[4]
Inclination54.7 degrees[4]
Period717.96 minutes[4]

USA-117, also known as GPS IIA-16, GPS II-25 and GPS SVN-33, is an American navigation satellite which forms part of the Global Positioning System. It was the sixteenth of nineteen Block IIA GPS satellites to be launched.

USA-117 was launched at 00:21:00 UTC on 28 March 1996, atop a Delta II carrier rocket, flight number D234, flying in the 7925-9.5 configuration.[3] The launch took place from Launch Complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,[5] and placed USA-117 into a transfer orbit. The satellite raised itself into medium Earth orbit using a Star-37XFP apogee motor.[2]

On 27 April 1996, USA-117 was in an orbit with a perigee of 20,080 kilometres (12,480 mi), an apogee of 20,284 kilometres (12,604 mi), a period of 717.96 minutes, and 54.7 degrees of inclination to the equator.[4] It broadcasts the PRN 03 signal, and operates in slot 2 of plane C of the GPS constellation.[6] The satellite has a mass of 1,816 kilograms (4,004 lb). It had a design life of 7.5 years;[2] however, it actually remained in service until August 2, 2014.

It was subsequently disposed of and currently resides in a disposal orbit approximately 500 km above the operational constellation.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Navstar 2A-16". US National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Krebs, Gunter. "GPS-2A (Navstar-2A)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch List". Launch Vehicle Database. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  6. ^ Wade, Mark. "Navstar". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 18 July 2015.