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.


 
 

 

UAE unveils mission plan for first Arab space probe to Mars

http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7520951-uae-mission-to-mars/ The blueprints and science goals for the first Arab mission to Mars have been revealed for the first time. The Emirates Mars Mission probe, named “Hope”, will create mankind’s first integrated model of the Red Planet’s atmosphere. The unmanned probe will leave Earth in 2020 on a mission designed to compl...
 
 

NASA test materials to fly on Air Force space plane

Building on more than a decade of data from International Space Station research, NASA is expanding its materials science research by flying an experiment on the U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane. By flying the Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space investigation on the X-37B, materials scientists have the opportunity to expose almost 100...
 
 
nasa-ames

NASA announces new director of Ames Research Center

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced May 4 the selection of Dr. Eugene L. Tu as the next director of the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, effective immediately. Tu most recently served as the...
 

 

NASA completes MESSENGER mission with expected impact on Mercury’s surface

A NASA planetary exploration mission came to a planned, but nonetheless dramatic, end April 30 when it slammed into Mercury’s surface at about 8,750 mph and created a new crater on the planet’s surface. Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., have confirmed NASA’s MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force focuses on assured access to space

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Strategic Force...
 
 

NASA invests in hundreds of U.S. small businesses to enable future missions

NASA has selected research and technology proposals from 254 small businesses and 39 research institutions in the United States for grants to develop new technologies that will further NASA’s journey to Mars. The proposals are solicited, vetted and managed through NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Proposals that lead to...
 




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>