Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles
Appendix 3: Space Vehicles
Copyright © 2003-2004 Jos Heyman
(HTML formatting by Andreas Parsch)

Lockheed Martin ES-8 Milstar

Series of military communications satellites built by Lockheed and also known as ES-8A. The operational constellation consisted of three satellites in a near geostationary orbit. They were equipped with transponders operating in the 45/21 GHz, to service mobile military terminals, 225/400 MHz and 60 GHz bands, the latter for satellite to satellite communications.

Image: Lockheed Martin

Milstar-1 was also known as Development Flight Satellite (DFS)-1 and, in addition to the normal payload, may have carried a technology experiment as part of the Brilliant Pebbles programme. With the introduction of Milstar 2-1 the capacity was increased to 32 transponders in the 45/21 GHz band whilst the Medium Data Rate payload and a crosslink capacity at 60 GHz were introduced on Milstar 2-2 and Milstar 2-3 respectively.

Photo: Author's collection
Milstar 2-2 (2001-009A)

Name Intl. Designation Launch Notes
Milstar 1-11994-009A 7-Feb-1994Also known as USA-99 and DFS-1
Milstar 1-21995-060A 6-Nov-1995Also known as USA-115
Milstar 2-11999-023A30-Apr-1999Also known as USA-143; failed to achieve correct orbit
Milstar 2-22001-009A27-Feb-2001Also known as USA-157
Milstar 2-32002-001A16-Jan-2002Also known as USA-164
Milstar 2-42003-012A 8-Apr-2003Also known as USA-169

Launch dates of the Milstar series

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

Last Updated: 1 January 2004