Mission typeRadar imaging
OperatorUS NRO
COSPAR ID2010-046A
SATCAT no.37162
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeFIA Radar
ManufacturerLockheed Martin
Start of mission
Launch date21 September 2010, 04:03:30 (2010-09-21UTC04:03:30Z) UTC
RocketAtlas V 501 AV-025
Launch siteVandenberg SLC-3E
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth (retrograde)
Perigee altitude1,105 kilometres (687 mi)[1]
Apogee altitude1,116 kilometres (693 mi)[1]
Inclination122.99 degrees[1]
Period107.35 minutes[1]
Epoch23 January 2015, 06:05:42 UTC[1]

USA-215, also known as NRO Launch 41 or NROL-41, is an American reconnaissance satellite, operated by the National Reconnaissance Office. Launched in 2010, it has been identified as the first in a new series of radar imaging satellites, developed as part of the Future Imagery Architecture programme,[2] to replace the earlier Lacrosse spacecraft.

USA-215 was launched by an Atlas V carrier rocket, flying in the 501 configuration, operated by United Launch Alliance. The rocket was launched from Space Launch Complex 3E at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, at 04:03:30 UTC (09:03 PDT) on 21 September 2010.[3] 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.[4]

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 23 January 2015 it was in an orbit with a perigee of 1,105 kilometres (687 mi), an apogee of 1,116 kilometres (693 mi) and 122.99 degrees of inclination.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Peat, Chris (23 January 2015). "USA 215 - Orbit". Heavens-Above. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  2. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "FIA-Radar 1, 2, 3, 4". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  3. ^ Ray, Justin (21 September 2010). "Atlas Launch Report - Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 10 April 2012.
  4. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "NROL launches". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 10 April 2012.