Space

May 1, 2012

Space Command TacSat 3 burns up in atmosphere

May 1 marked the end of Air Force Space Command’s Tactical Satellite 3 after it de-orbited into and burned up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

TacSat-3, which had exceeded its expected lifespan by 20 months, was originally designed and launched as a one-year experimental satellite May 19, 2009.

Although not designed as an operational asset, due to its longevity and potential to provide operational support to the war fighter, it transitioned to an operational asset June 12, 2010, and ended its operational mission Feb. 15, 2012.

TacSat-3 was the first on-orbit Department of Defense intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability delivered to U.S. Strategic Command for their direct imagery support to worldwide combatant commanders. TacSat-3 complemented the wide array of Intelligence Community Combat Support Agencies and other space-based ISR systems which provide information to war fighters.

TacSat-3’s unique hyperspectral imaging capability provided valuable information to combatant commanders.

When compared to traditional imagery, hyperspectral data provides unique information regarding the objects imaged. For example, hyperspectral information can help recognize types of metal and concrete and can often distinguish between man-made and natural materials. This allows war fighters a better understanding of their area of operations, including adversary activities, intent and what risks may exist in conducting operations.

Since TacSat-3’s operational acceptance, AFSPC worked to quicken the “sensor tasking to product dissemination” process for delivering actionable information to the war fighter. The TacSat-3 capability produced approximately 100 hyperspectral imagery products per month, delivering key intelligence in hours-to-days after sensor tasking, which was 10 times faster than was done during the original experimental phase.

The TacSat-3 operators at the 1st and 7th Space Operations Squadrons at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., executed the overhead HSI collections in partnership with the Space and Missile Systems Center Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Support Complex (RSC) at Kirtland AFB, N.M., which uplinked specific taskings and other supporting commands to the satellite. After the end of TacSat-3’s operational mission, satellite control and risk decision authority was turned over to the Space Development and Test Directorate, which runs the RSC, for testing and research and development purposes prior to satellite end of life.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover finishes marathon

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./USGS/Arizona State Univ. This illustration depicts some highlights along the route as NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity drove as far as a marathon race during the first 11 years and ...
 
 
NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

NASA announces teams for 2015 Human Exploration Rover Challenge

NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given Pedaling across a simulated alien landscape of rock, craters and shifting sand is one of the nearly 90 teams of high school, college and university students from across the United States and around the wo...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

F. E. Warren conducts Minuteman III missile test launch from Vandenberg

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila An unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches March 23, 2015, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The missile was randomly selected from F. E. Warren AFB, Wyo.,...
 

 

NASA awards contract for NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-2 spacecraft

NASA has awarded a delivery order under the Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition III (Rapid III) contract to Orbital ATK (formerly Orbital Sciences Corporation) of Dulles, Va., for the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS)-2 spacecraft. The JPSS-2 spacecraft will provide operational continuity of satellite-based observations to enable the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to provide critica...
 
 
University of Colorado image

NASA spacecraft detects aurora, mysterious dust cloud around Mars

University of Colorado image Artistís conception of MAVENís Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS) observing the ìChristmas Lights Aurora” on Mars. MAVEN observations show that aurora on Mars is similar to Earthís &#...
 
 
NASA photograph

Space station crew returns to Earth, lands safely in Kazakhstan

NASA photograph They have landed! This message was posted to the center screen of the Russian Federal Space Agency’s Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia, the moment confirmation was received that the Soyuz carrying ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>