Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA) has been awarded a contract by the US Air Force Space and Missiles Systems Center to provide payload integration and support services for Space Test Program Satellite 6 (STPSat-6).
The multipurpose satellite will operationally demonstrate advanced communication capabilities, collect space weather data and support nuclear detonation detection in the Earth’s atmosphere or in near space. STPSat-6 is the primary payload on the STP-3 mission which is set to launch no earlier than June 2019.
STPSat-6 will be built on an Orbital ATK satellite bus that will be modified to fit mission requirements. Under the contract, Orbital ATK will integrate and test the spacecraft, deliver operations procedures, and support launch and on-orbit check-out. The satellite will carry nine payloads from the Department of Defense, National Nuclear Security Administration and NASA.
The multiple payloads on board STPSat-6 include the Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System (SABRS-3), NASA’s Laser Communication Relay Demonstration (LCRD), and seven experiments from the DOD Space Experiments Review Board. Orbital ATK’s heritage bus and avionics product line is designed to support multiple payloads and can be adapted to support the customer’s desired mission life.
The STP-3 mission is sponsored and managed by the Space Test Program (STP), which is the primary provider of spaceflight for the United States Department of Defense (DOD) space science and technology community. STP is managed by the Advanced Systems and Development Directorate of the Space and Missile Center.
Chris Long, the Vice President of National Space Systems at Orbital ATK, noted that this flexible and modular satellite bus platform provides an especially unique opportunity to host multiple instruments from three departments of government on one spacecraft, achieving customer goals at an affordable price.