Mission typeNavigation
OperatorUS Air Force
COSPAR ID1996-041A[1]
SATCAT no.23953[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 date16 July 1996, 00:50:00 (1996-07-16UTC00:50Z) UTC
RocketDelta II 7925-9.5, D237[3]
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-17A[3]
End of mission
DisposalPlaced in a graveyard orbit
Deactivated11 March 2016 (2016-03-12)
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeMedium Earth
Perigee altitude20,134 kilometres (12,511 mi)[4]
Apogee altitude20,227 kilometres (12,568 mi)[4]
Inclination55 degrees[4]
Period717.9 minutes[4]

USA-126, also known as GPS IIA-17, GPS II-26 and GPS SVN-40, is an American navigation satellite which forms part of the Global Positioning System. It was the seventeenth of nineteen Block IIA GPS satellites to be launched.

USA-126 was launched at 00:50:00 UTC on 16 July 1996, atop a Delta II carrier rocket, flight number D237, flying in the 7925-9.5 configuration.[3] The launch took place from Launch Complex 17A at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,[5] and placed USA-126 into a transfer orbit. The satellite raised itself into medium Earth orbit using a Star-37XFP apogee motor.[2]

On 15 August 1996, USA-126 was in an orbit with a perigee of 20,134 kilometres (12,511 mi), an apogee of 20,227 kilometres (12,568 mi), a period of 717.9 minutes, and 55 degrees of inclination to the equator.[4] It broadcasts the PRN 10 signal, and operates in slot 3 of plane E 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 was kept in service for over 18 years before finally decommissioned from service on July 16, 2015.[7]

Following decommissioning, it was subsequently placed in a disposal orbit approximately 1000 km above the operational constellation on March 11, 2016.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Navstar 2A-17". 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. ^ "NOTICE ADVISORY TO NAVSTAR USERS (NANU) 2015069". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  8. ^ "50 SW to dispose of two GPS satellites". United States Air Force. Retrieved 21 March 2016.