XSS 11 (Experimental Satellite System 11, also known as USA -165 referred to ) was a small, experimental military satellite, developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the U.S. Air Force to test autonomous proximity operations to other spacecraft. In particular, find the in-orbit repair, inspection and reconnaissance applications, the proven technologies.

XSS 11 builds on the previous mission XSS 10 and has a similar task as the developed about the same time NASA satellite DART.


XSS 11 was built by Lockheed Martin and weighed 138 kg at the start. The drive system had a capacity of speed change (delta v) of more than 600 m / s The satellite had a cuboid structure and had a three-axis attitude control. The power supply was ensured by two folding solar panels that were not swivel.

The instrument for the rendezvous operations was a LIDAR sensor. As an additional payload there were to have been constructed by the Naval Research Laboratory communication transponder and a camera and a star sensor on board.


XSS 11 was launched on 11 April 2005 with a Minotaur 1 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in a low orbit of 839 × 875 km and an inclination of 98.8 ° and led over 18 months by his experiments.

First XSS led to 11 maneuvers the fourth stage of the Minotaur 1 rocket, which came with a satellite into orbit, by. Then the satellite should carry with six to eight other objects rendezvous. Apart from the successful rendezvous with the upper stage of the launcher no mission results were published.


The ability autonomous proximity maneuvers, to others, not being able to perform cooperative satellite is to employ satellites such as the XSS 11 as an anti- satellite weapon that can destroy enemy satellites by ramming possible. The U.S. Air Force has been accused in the media many times, the technology testing for XSS 11 was merely a cover for the development of such a weapon.