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-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 

 

Lockheed Martin solar ultraviolet imager installed on GOES-R weather satellite

Lockheed Martin has delivered a new solar analysis payload that will help scientists measure and forecast space weather, which can damage satellites, electrical grids and communications systems on Earth. The Solar Ultraviolet Imager instrument was integrated with the first flight vehicle of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís next-generation Geostationary Operational Environm...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASAís Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this yea...
 
 

NASA signs agreement with SpaceX for use of historic launch pad

NASA Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site. NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for use and occupancy of the seaside complex along Florida’s...
 




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>