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Satnews Daily
May 22nd, 2011

L.A.F.B. / SMC... ORS-1 Is Virginia-Bound (Satellite)

The ORS-1 satellite during manufacture. Photo courtesy of ATK Spacecraft Systems & Services.
[SatNews] Another major milestone has been met as all get set to ship an important military satellite to its launch site...

The Space Development and Test Directorate, in concert with the Operationally Responsive Space Office, is marking a major milestone May 20, 2011, as the ORS-1 space vehicle is approved to ship to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va., for integration with a Minotaur I launch vehicle. ORS-1 is the first satellite in the DoD’s ORS program designed to support Combatant Command operations as an operational prototype. The payload leverages a SYERS-2 sensor, the primary imaging sensor on the U-2 reconnaissance plane. The ORS-1 payload was built by The Goodrich Corporation, who also served as prime contractor, while the spacecraft bus was built by ATK Spacecraft Systems & Services, Beltsville, Md. It includes an integrated propulsion system as well as other critical subsystems for communications, attitude control, thermal control and command and data handling. ORS-1 will provide crucial battlespace awareness supporting U.S. Central Command.

“This team has just accomplished the impossible by building an operationally relevant satellite in a mere 30 months,” said Col. Carol Welsch, acting director of the Space Development and Test Directorate. “We’re excited to field this important capability to meet a U.S. CENTCOM urgent need.” Added ORS Office Director, Dr. Peter Wegner, "This is a significant accomplishment in driving towards the ORS mission end-state to provide “assured space power focused on timely satisfaction of Joint Force Commanders’ needs,” and I couldn’t be prouder of how the entire ORS Team pulled together this achievement."

Wallops flight facility launch pad, photo courtesy of NASA
The ORS-1 Program is managed and executed by the Space Development & Test Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. SMC/SD is executing the program for the ORS Office, which is a joint initiative of several agencies within the DoD responsible for integrating joint ORS capabilities and applying ORS resources to the development, acquisition and demonstration of capabilities to meet specific responsive space needs as established by global combatant command joint force commanders and users. SMC/SD also led the development and acquisition of the Multi-Mission Space Operations Center round system, which will be used to support ORS-1. Operations will be performed by the 50th Space Wing’s 1st Space Operations Squadron once ORS-1 is on orbit. ORS-1 will complete launch-site testing, vehicle checkout, and launch vehicle integration and closeout at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in preparation for launch early this summer from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, a commercial spaceport owned by the Virginia Commercial Flight Authority located at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility.