Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 3: Space Vehicles
Copyright © 2005 Jos Heyman
(HTML formatting by Andreas Parsch)


The Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) was launched on 24 April 1996. It was not designated in the S-for-Satellite series. The prime objective of the MSX satellite was to test methods to detect, track and discriminate missiles during mid-course stages of their flight against terrestrial Earth limb and celestial backgrounds, as well as undertake upper atmospheric research. The satellite had a mass of 2680 kg and the instruments were:

Image: Author's collection
MSX (1996-024A)

As part of the scientific programme the satellite tracked missiles fired from the Kauai Test Facility and Vandenberg. It also tracked Kosmos-1278, Kosmos-2227 and a Titan transtage. It has been reported that on 24 August 1996 and 12 September 1996 two small calibration satellites were released, however, it does not appear these have been catalogued.

The Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) programme also involved various Space Shuttle flights, commencing with STS-63. After the programme was completed, in 1998, the satellite was used to locate 'missing' satellites for NORAD.

Back to Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 3

Last Updated: 11 April 2005