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-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>