Mercury (satellite)

Mercury (satellite)

MERCURY (sometimes called "Advanced VORTEX") is reportedly the name of a series of three United States spy satellites launched in the 1990s. These satellites were launched and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office with the participation of the United States Air Force. Two of the three launches from Cape Canaveral were successful. The satellites collect SIGINT from near-geosynchronous orbits. Their precise mission and capabilities are highly classified, but they are widely believed to be successors to the Vortex/Chalet satellites.

The last launch attempt, on 12 August 1998 failed and sent the USD $700–800 million satellite and the $344 million Titan IVA/Centaur launch vehicle into the Atlantic Ocean. The failure was caused by a short circuit in the guidance system, after which the Range Safety Officer ordered the destruction of the rocket.[1] Observers estimate each spacecraft weighs 4000–5000 kg.[2]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Craig Covault and Joseph C. Anselmo (1998-08-17). "Titan explosion destroys secret 'Mercury' sigint". Aviation Week and Space Technology 149. 


  • Mercury 1 launched 27 Aug 1994 (USA-105) 1994-054A
  • Mercury 2 launched 24 April 1996 (USA-118) 1996-026A
  • Mercury 3 failed to launch 12 August 1998 1998-F02

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mercury project — may refer to: The first NASA manned space project, Project Mercury A spy satellite, Mercury (satellite) An album, Project Mercury (album) A band, The Mercury Program A video game system, Sega Game Gear This disambiguation page lists articles… …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury — Contents 1 Geography 2 Populated places 3 Transportation 4 …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury-Scout 1 — ready for launch Mercury Scout 1 Operator NASA Mission type tracking and communications test …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury-Atlas 8 — Mercury 8 redirects here. For the car, see Mercury Eight. Mercury Atlas 8 Mission insignia Mission statistics Mission name Mercury Atlas 8 Spacecraft name Σ 7 (Sigma 7) …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury Rev — Jonathan Donahue fronting Mercury Rev in Tel Aviv, Israel, 2010 Background information Origin Buffalo …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury Islands — Maori: (?) A true colour image acquired by NASA s Terra satellite, on October 23, 2002. The Mercury Islands are just visible at top right, to the northeast of the Coromandel Peninsula. Geography …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury Rev — actuando en el festival All Tomorrow Parties de 2004. Datos generales Origen Catskill Mountains …   Wikipedia Español

  • Satellite radio — is an analogue or digital radio signal that is relayed through one or more satellites and thus can be received in a much wider geographical area than terrestrial FM radio stations. While in Europe many primarily FM radio stations provide an… …   Wikipedia

  • Mercury Hotel Arusha — (Arusha,Объединенная Республика Танзания) Категория отеля: Адрес: 11419 Nairob …   Каталог отелей

  • Mercury 4 — Programme Mercury Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mercury. Lancement de Mercury 6 par une fusée Atlas …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.