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SBSS (Space Based Space Surveillance), a U.S. Air Force satellite, was launched on 26 September 2010 from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 04:41 UT by a Minotaur 4 rocket. SBSS 1 is designed to track and detect other spacecraft in orbit, and will form part of the United States Strategic Command's Space Surveillance Network. Equipped with an 11.8-inch telescope and 2.4-megapixel focal plane, the craft will use its optical eyes to image the sky and provide analysts the data they need to keep better tabs on space debris and guard against accidental collisions. The satellites tracking abilities will watch for potential risks posed to the military's communications, navigation, weather and spy satellites by enemy interference. The SBSS has a seven-year design life.

Alternate Names

  • 37168
  • Space Based Space Surveillance
  • USA 216

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2010-09-26
Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 4
Launch Site: Vandenberg AFB, United States

Funding Agency

  • Department of Defense-Department of the Air Force (United States)


  • Surveillance and Other Military

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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