Space

November 20, 2013

Ball Aerospace-built STPSat-3 Satellite Launches from Wallops Island

ball-satellite
The Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. STPSat-3 satellite built for the Department of Defense and part of the Operationally Responsive Space-3 (ORS-3) mission, successfully launched from Wallops Island, Va., on board a Minotaur I at 8:15 p.m., EST, Nov. 19.

STPSat-3 joins its predecessor, the Ball-built STPSat-2, which launched in 2010 on the same date.

These satellites demonstrate the ability to rapidly access space by using standard interfaces on a standard spacecraft bus.†Payloads are designed to be compatible with the spacecraft bus, resulting in lower spacecraft non-recurring costs, shorter acquisition timelines, decreased spacecraft build costs, and increased spaceflight opportunities.

“Standard interfaces allowed rapid satellite integration and test, and for the spacecraft bus to be built in 47 days independently of the payloads,” said Ball Aerospace President Rob Strain. “In less than a year, STPSat-3 was an integrated, fully-tested and ready-to-ship satellite with five payloads and a de-orbit module.”

Ball Aerospace has integrated the standard spacecraft bus used on STPSat-2 and STPSat-3 into its Ball Configurable Platform product line to offer customers more affordable and responsive space missions.

One of the instruments onboard the satellite, the Total Solar Irradiance Calibration Transfer Experiment is a sensor hosted for NOAA and NASA. The sensor, built by CU-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics will provide for continual calibration of the sun’s total energy input to the Earth, which affects Earth’s atmosphere and weather patterns.

“With very minor modifications and close collaboration with partners, the TCTE instrument was adapted for Ball’s flexible STPSat-3 spacecraft to provide critical weather information for the nation,” added Strain. “STPSat-3 was the perfect option to enable a quick ride to space and mitigated a possible total solar irradiance gap after the precursory TSI-measuring instrument experienced a launch failure in 2011.”

STPSat-3 is managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Space Development & Test Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., as part of the Space Test Program, Standard Interface Vehicle (STP-SIV) program.

The ORS-3 Mission, also known as the Enabler Mission, will demonstrate launch and range improvements to include: automated vehicle trajectory targeting, range safety planning, and flight termination; employ a commercial-like procurement with FAA licensing of a Minotaur 1; and launch the Air Force’s Space Test Program Satellite-3 and 28 cubesats on an Integrated Payload Stack.† These enablers not only focus on the ability to execute a rapid call up mission, they automate engineering tasks that once took months and reduce those timelines to days and/or hours† resulting in decreased mission costs.




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


 
 

 
NASA image

Ozone-depleting compound persists, NASA research shows

NASA image Satellites observed the largest ozone hole over Antarctica in 2006. Purple and blue represent areas of low ozone concentrations in the atmosphere; yellow and red are areas of higher concentrations. NASA research show...
 
 

NASA’s RXTE satellite decodes rhythm of an unusual black hole

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TSWZI2oUgnI?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 Astronomers have uncovered rhythmic pulsations from a rare type of black hole 12 million light-years away by sifting through archival data from NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer satellite. The signals have helped astronomers identify an unusual midsize black hole called M82 X-1, which is the brightest X-ray source in a ga...
 
 

NASA announces awards to expand informal STEM education network

NASA has selected 12 informal educational institutions to receive approximately $6 million in agency funding to provide compelling science, technology, engineering and math opportunities in informal education settings, such as museums, science centers, planetariums and NASA visitor centers. The selected projects will complement and enhance STEM curricula taught in traditional kindergarten throu...
 

 

Orbital completes third cargo delivery mission to ISS

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced Aug. 18 the successful completion of its third cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the past 10 months, including the initial demonstration flight completed in October 2013 and the first two operational missions under the company’s $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply...
 
 

NASA selects Texas State University to provide educator professional development

NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project has awarded approximately $15 million in a new, five-year cooperative agreement to Texas State University at San Marcos to provide educator professional development using NASA-related science, technology, engineering and math content. The selection is in response to an Education Opportunities in NASA STEM ñ Educator Professional D...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/SAO/CXC/R. Margutti et al

NASA’s Chandra Observatory searches for trigger of nearby supernova

Photograph courtesy of NASA/SAO/CXC/R. Margutti et al NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is helping determine what caused SN 2014J, one of the closest supernovas discovered in decades. By comparing X-ray data taken before and a...
 




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>