Minneapolis MN (SPX) Feb 19, 2010
Alliant Techsystems marks a major milestone this week as it prepares to conduct final testing and ship the Operational Responsive Space-1 (ORS-1) satellite bus, after building it in just 16 months. The bus will be shipped to Goodrich Corporation for integration of the payload in preparation for launch later this year.
ORS-1 is part of the United States Department of Defense's (DoD) ORS program that focuses on using small satellites and launch vehicles to provide innovative sensor technologies to the commanders in the battlefield, and doing so in shortened timeframes and in more affordable ways.
The ORS-1 program supports Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) needs, by providing innovative sensor systems that range across multiple spectrums.
The satellite bus is based on the design ATK developed for the successful TacSat-3 satellite with the addition of a propulsion module. ATK built the bus at its Beltsville, MD facility. One of the goals of the program is to develop satellite buses with standard interfaces that allow for different sensors to be used for specific missions.
"Being able to build these satellites fast, and tailor them to the precise user needs, provides the commanders and the war fighter unprecedented capability," said Blake Larson, president of ATK Space Systems.
"As we continue to build and operate satellites and develop more plug and play technologies, we will revolutionize how this nation responds to a threat."
Several key individuals were in attendance at the ATK celebration including local officials, representatives from the Pentagon and Congress including Senator Barbara Mikulski.
"I'm proud of the work being done at ATK in Beltsville to revolutionize satellites, create jobs in Maryland, and protect America. ATK Beltsville is a vital part of Maryland's space economy. The ORS-1 satellite bus is leaner, meaner, quicker to build and less costly to taxpayers than traditional satellites," said Senator Mikulski, chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Committee. "Finding quicker ways to put satellites into orbit will create jobs while leading to critical commercial, civil and national security information that will protect our nation and our troops overseas."
TacSat-3 was the earlier demonstration program that led to ORS-1. It was successfully launched last year and continues to perform well as an operational resource.
"The successful rapid development and launch of TacSat-3 established ATK as the first and only provider of an operational ORS bus," said Tom Wilson, vice president and general manager, ATK Spacecraft Systems and Services. "We look forward to using our flight-proven technologies in future missions."
ATK is under contract to Goodrich, the overall spacecraft integrator of the ORS-1 satellite system. ORS-1 will provide color pictures of regions selected by ground force commanders, and use existing ground systems to process and distribute the images and other information out to the battlefield.
The system is designed to support urgent military needs, while establishing a foundation that will advance the multi-mission modular approach required for future ORS satellites.
The Operationally Responsive Space Office (ORS Office) is a joint initiative of several agencies within the DoD responsible for integrating joint ORS capabilities and for 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.
The ORS-1 Program is managed by the Space Development and Test Wing located at Kirtland Air Force base with support from the ORS Office.
ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 18,000 employees in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally, and revenues of approximately $4.8 billion. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.
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Russia must boost space defences: Putin
Moscow (AFP) Feb 17, 2010
Russia must improve its space defences as well as modernize its nuclear arsenal by 2020, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in comments released on Wednesday. "In accordance with the plan for the development and reconfiguration of the armed forces, special attention, of course, will be paid to nuclear deterrent forces, space and air defences," he said. Putin made the comments at a meetin ... read more
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