U.S. Air Force Takes Control of STPSat-3
WASHINGTON — Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., announced Jan. 9 it has turned over control of the recently launched Space Test Program Satellite (STPSat)-3 to the U.S. Air Force.
The STPSat-3 is the latest in a series of spacecraft developed under a Defense Department program to field space capabilities quickly in response to emerging military needs.
The satellite was launched Nov. 19 as the main payload aboard a Minotaur 1 rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, a state-run facility located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. It included five payloads including sensors to measure plasma densities and solar irradiance.
Ball says it built STPSat-3 using the company’s Standard Interface Vehicle platform in 47 days at a cost of about $30 million.
The satellite’s predecessor, STPSat-2, also built by Ball, has been on orbit for three years.
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