Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
“Operationally Responsive Space Office”
Coast Guard Preparing To Launch Its First Satellites

Polar Scout CubeSat (Credit: Coast Guard)

WASHINGTON (U.S. Coast Guard PR) — Two small satellites, scheduled for launch in 2018, will provide the Coast Guard with the opportunity to test the effectiveness of satellite communications in supporting Arctic search and rescue missions.

These satellites, or “cubesats,” are capable of detecting transmissions from emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs), which are carried on board vessels to broadcast their position if in distress. The Coast Guard will deploy the cubesats in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s Polar Scout program, the Air Force Operationally Responsive Space Office, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


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  • April 30, 2018
Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes Engine Test for Super Strypi Launch Vehicle

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 13, 2014 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) —
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (GY) company, today announced that its Low Earth Orbiting Nanosatellite Integrated Defense Autonomous System (LEONIDAS) first stage solid propellant rocket motor (LEO-46) successfully completed a hot-fire static test at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards Air Force Base in California.


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  • August 15, 2014
Minotaur I Launch Updates and Viewing Options

Live coverage available at: UPDATE 4:  Launch at 8:15 p.m. was nominal. The primary payload, a defense satellite, was deployed as planned.  The deployment of 28 Cubesats will take place out out of the range of ground tracking stations. We’re awaiting word on the success of those deployments. UPDATE 3 at 7:30 p.m. EST: Count has resumed. New launch time is 8:15 p.m. EST. UPDATE 2 at 7:11 p.m. […]

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  • November 19, 2013
Minotaur I Record Satellite Launch Includes First Student Built CubeSat & PhoneSat 2.4
Artist conception of TJ3Sat in orbit. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

Artist conception of student-built TJ3Sat in orbit. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Virg. (NASA & OSC PRs) — The United States Air Force Minotaur I rocket scheduled for launch on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. from Virginia will carry a record number of satellites — 29 — into orbit. The rocket will launch a defense test spacecraft and 28 small CubeSats,  including the first satellite designed and built by high school students and PhoneSat 2.4, a second generation smartphone mission.

The Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space Office’s ORS-3 mission will demonstrate and validate launch and range improvements for NASA and the military. These include automated trajectory targeting, range-safety planning and flight termination systems. The launch also will be part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) certification process for the Minotaur rocket. The FAA has licensing authority over American commercial rockets.

The Minotaur’s primary payload is the Space Test Program Satellite-3 (STPSat-3), an Air Force technology-demonstration mission. Thirteen small cubesats aboard are being provided through NASA’s Cubesat Launch Initiative.


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  • November 19, 2013
UP Aerospace Conducts Tenth Launch From Spaceport America

UP Aerospace SpaceLoft XL rocket. (File Photo)

Spaceport America, NM (NMSA PR) –
New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced the tenth launch from Spaceport America by UP Aerospace of Denver, Colorado. The liftoff of the sub-orbital sounding rocket took place from Spaceport America’s vertical launch complex at approximately 8:18 a.m. (MST), within the dedicated, five-hour launch window. The rocket reached its sub-orbital altitude of 73 miles or 385,640 feet (117 km), accomplishing a new Spaceport America altitude record.

The launch was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of UP Aerospace, Inc. The primary payloads were Department of Defense (DoD) experiments. Additional payloads were carried for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the University of Texas and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


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  • April 5, 2012
SpaceLoft XL to Launch ORS Payloads from Spaceport America

by Michael P. Kleiman
377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — The SpaceLoft-6 sounding rocket will launch April 5, 2012, at Spaceport America, in Upham, N.M., with seven payloads, crucial for future Operationally Responsive Space missions, demonstrating its dependability and resilience during a 13-minute, 70-mile-high trek.

The ORS director explained the mission’s significance.

“One of the ways we prove space-based range technologies of tracking the rocket through flight, knowing where it is at all times in case the flight has to be terminated due to trajectory issues, is to get multiple flights to validate that the systems work in flight. Orbital flights are rare and costly, so one of the ways we are getting that flight heritage is by flying these technologies on small sounding rockets, which is much more inexpensive and easier,” said Dr. Peter Wegner.


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  • April 1, 2012
Budget Would Shut Down Air Force Operationally Response Space Office

The Obama Administration has proposed sharp defense cuts that will hit the military’s space research budget, Spaceflight Now reports:

The Operationally Responsive Space office, headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., would be closed under the budget request. The Pentagon established the ORS program as a joint-force change agent in 2007 to demonstrate space systems on leaner budgets and rapid schedules.

The Space Test Program, also garrisoned at Kirtland, would receive $10 million in the budget request, a fraction of the program’s $47 million funding level in the current fiscal year.


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  • February 14, 2012