FROM: U.S. AIR FORCE SPACE COMMAND
Riding twin plumes of flame produced by its Solid Rocket Boosters, Space Shuttle Atlantis clears the tower as it launches on mission STS-46. Credit: NASA
AFSPC MIlestone: Two DSCS-III satellites launched from the Space Shuttle "Atlantis"
10/3/2012 - Peterson AFB, Colo. -- Air Force Space Command is celebrating its 30th Anniversary! Here is a significant milestone from the command's history ...
Lift-off of the Space Shuttle "Atlantis" occurred on 3 October 1985, at 11:15 a.m. EDT, from Pad A, Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center. Its cargo was classified, but it was reported that the shuttle carried two (USA-11 and USA-12) Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS-III) satellites, which were propelled to geosynchronous orbit, 22,500 miles above the Earth by an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS). The mission was deemed successful.
Each DSCS-III satellite had a design life of ten years, although several of the DSCS satellites have far exceeded their design life expectancy.