USA-200, also known as NRO Launch 28 or NROL-28, is an American signals intelligence satellite, operated by the National Reconnaissance Office. Launched in 2008, it has been identified as the second satellite in a series known as Improved Trumpet, Advanced Trumpet, or Trumpet follow-on; a replacement for the earlier Trumpet series of satellites.[2]

Atlas V (411) with NROL 28 on Space Launch Complex-3E.JPG
Atlas V carrying NROL-28 satellite awaiting launch at SLC-3E.
Mission typeSIGINT
OperatorUnited States NRO
COSPAR ID2008-010A
SATCAT no.32706
Start of mission
Launch date13 March 2008, 10:02 UTC
RocketAtlas V 411 (AV-006)
Launch siteVandenberg, SLC-3E
ContractorLockheed Martin Commercial Launch Service
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[1]
RegimeMolniya orbit
Perigee altitude1,112 km (691 mi)
Apogee altitude37,580 km (23,350 mi)
Period684.33 minutes
Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS-HEO 2)
Magnetospheric science instrument (TWINS-B)
NROL-28 Mission Patch.png
NROL-28 mission patch  
The infrared image of a Delta II rocket launch, captured by SBIRS-HEO sensors aboard USA-200.


USA-200 was launched by an Atlas V launch vehicle, flying in the 411 configuration, operated by United Launch Alliance. The launch vehicle was the first Atlas V to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, flying from Space Launch Complex 3E.[3] Liftoff occurred at 10:02 UTC on 13 March 2008.[4][5] It was identified as NRO Launch 28,[6] and was the thirteenth flight of an Atlas V. The launch vehicle had the tail number AV-006.[4]


The satellite's orbit and mission are officially classified, however like most classified spacecraft it has been located and tracked by amateur observers. It is in a Molniya orbit with a perigee of 1,112 km (691 mi), an apogee of 37,580 km (23,350 mi), and 63.56° of orbital inclination and 684.33 minutes of orbital period.[1]


In addition to its SIGINT payload, USA-200 also carries two secondary instruments; the SBIRS-HEO 2 missile detection payload as part of the Space-Based Infrared System programme, and NASA's TWINS-2 or TWINS-B magnetospheric science instrument as part of the TWINS programme.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Report. 21 July 2021. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  2. ^ a b Krebs, Gunter. ""Trumpet F/O" 1, 2, 3". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  3. ^ Ray, Justin (13 March 2008). "Atlas 5 rocket launches from California for first time". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b McDowell, Jonathan (15 December 2021). "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 19 December 2021.
  5. ^ Ray, Justin (13 March 2008). "Atlas Launch Report - Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  6. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "NROL launches". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 11 April 2012.