[SatNews] The U.S. Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space Office and Space Test Program satellites successfully launched at 8:15 p.m. EST, November 19.
The satellites were carried aboard an Orbital Space Sciences Minotaur I Vehicle, from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. STPSat-3 launched along with numerous CubeSats as part of the ORS-3 mission. Spacecraft separation occurred shortly after lift-off and all 29 payloads were successfully delivered to the desired orbit.
The STPSat-3 is the second launch of a Department of Defense Space Test Program Standard Interface Vehicle and is the second vehicle operated on the Multi-Mission Satellite Operations Center ground system from the Research and Development Test and Evaluation Support Complex, both located at Space Development and Test Directorate on Kirtland AFB.
The ORS-3 Mission, also known as the Enabler Mission, demonstrates launch and range improvements to include: Automated vehicle trajectory targeting, range safety planning, and flight termination; a commercial-like procurement and Federal Aviation Administration licensing of the Minotaur I rocket; and the Integrated Payload Stack consisting of 29 spacecraft. These enablers not only focus on the ability to execute a rapid call up mission, but they also automate engineering tasks, which reduce timelines from months to days, and in some cases hours, result in decreased mission costs.
The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities