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-astronaut

Veteran NASA astronaut, spacewalker retires from NASA

Veteran astronaut Mike Foreman has retired from NASA to join a Houston-based consulting firm. A retired captain in the U.S. Navy, Foreman’s last day with the agency is July 31. “Mike is a great American who has served our ...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph

NASA selects proposals to study neutron stars, black holes, more

NASA/JPL-Caltech photograph The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched in 2012, is an Explorer mission that allows astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. NASA has selected five proposals subm...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech  image

NASA’s Spitzer confirms closest rocky exoplanet

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This artist’s concept shows the silhouette of a rocky planet, dubbed HD 219134b. At 21 light-years away, the planet is the closest outside of our solar system that can be seen crossing, or transitin...
 

 

NASA awards contract to support agency’s human spaceflight programs

NASA has selected Wyle Laboratories Inc., of El Segundo, Calif., to provide biomedical, medical and health services in support of all human spaceflight programs at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The work supports ongoing research aboard the International Space Station and helps enable the journey to Mars. The Human Health and Performance contract...
 
 
nasa-astronaut

Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

Astronaut Stephen Frick has retired from NASA to accept a position in the private sector. Frick, who flew as both a shuttle pilot and commander, left the Agency July 13. Steve has been a great asset to the astronaut office and ...
 
 
NASA/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt photograph

NASA’s Kepler mission discovers bigger, older cousin to Earth

NASA/JPL-CalTech/R. Hurt photograph This size and scale of the Kepler-452 system compared alongside the Kepler-186 system and the solar system. Kepler-186 is a miniature solar system that would fit entirely inside the orbit of ...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>