USA-215, also known as NRO Launch 41 or NROL-41, is an American reconnaissance satellite, operated by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Launched in 2010, it has been identified as the first in a new series of imaging radar satellites, developed as part of the Future Imagery Architecture (FIA) programme, to replace the earlier Lacrosse spacecraft.
|Names||NRO Launch 41|
|Mission type||Imaging radar|
|Operator||National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)|
|Spacecraft type||FIA Radar|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||21 September 2010,|
|Rocket||Atlas V 501 s/n AV-025|
|Launch site||Vandenberg, SLC-3E|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance (ULA)|
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit|
|Regime||Low Earth orbit (retrograde)|
|Perigee altitude||1,103 km (685 mi)|
|Apogee altitude||1,105 km (687 mi)|
USA-215 was launched by an Atlas V launch vehicle, flying in the 501 configuration, operated by United Launch Alliance (ULA). The rocket was launched from Space Launch Complex 3E at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, at 04:03:30 UTC on 21 September 2010. It was identified as NRO Launch 41, and was the twenty-third flight of an Atlas V; the vehicle had the tail number AV-025, and was named Gladys.
The satellite's orbit and mission are officially classified; however, it has been located by amateur observers in a retrograde low Earth orbit. As of 14 February 2021, it was in an orbit with a perigee of 1,103 km (685 mi), an apogee of 1,105 km (687 mi) and 122.99° of orbital inclination.