Via Atlas V 541 rocket, ULA advances USSF-12 mission to GEO + Northrop Grumman’s ESPAStar™ satellite – SatNews


A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V541 rocket completed the launch of the USSF-12 mission for the US space forceit is Space Systems Command (SSC).

The USSF-12 carries two satellite payloads: the Wide field of vision (WFOV) Test bench for SSC Direction of spatial detection and USSF-12 Ring spacecraft for the Ministry of Defense Space test program.

Atlas V will deliver the two spacecraft directly to GEO approximately 22,000 miles (35,500 km) above the equator, approximately 6 hours after liftoff.

The forward payload, WFOV, is a testbed spacecraft that informs the Next generation aerial persistent infrared (OPIR). The Next Gen OPIR program will succeed the Space Based Infrared Systems program.

Sponsored by Space Systems Command and operated by the NASA Ames Research Centerthe medium-sized WFOV spacecraft is based on MillenniumThe affordable AQUILA M8 platform series from and hosts a transformational six-degree OPIR vision sensor developed under a separate contract by L3Harris Technologies.

The WFOV test rig is designed for a 3-5 year lifespan with a total mass of up to 6,613 lbs. (3,000 kg.) and a payload accommodation of over 771 lbs. (350 kg.). WFOV’s primary mission in orbit is to explore future missile warning algorithms with data collected in space.

The rear payload is a propulsion ESPA named USSF-12 Ring. The ring is a classified mission to demonstrate future technology for the Department of Defense.

A direct insertion GEO launch is one of the most challenging types of missions required by national security spaceflight. The launcher fires three times from its upper stage to deliver the payload to an altitude of more than 22,000 miles above the equator without the satellites themselves needing to perform large-scale orbit climb maneuvers .

Geosynchronous orbit is where satellites match the Earth’s rotation and stay in phase above the same point on the globe as they orbit.

The Centaur upper stage is powered for this launch by the 514th production engine of the RL10 family. For more than 50 years, Aerojet RocketdyneThe RL10 engine has played a vital role in placing hundreds of military, government and commercial satellites into Earth orbit and has helped send spacecraft to explore every planet in our solar system.

In addition to Centaur, ULA uses RL10 on the Delta cryogenic second stage for the Delta IV and in the next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket. This was the 93rd safety mission in 150 flights for ULA

Northrop Grumman Company (NYSE: NOC) played a critical role in the successful launch and rollout of the United States Space Force (USSF)-12 mission launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

As part of this mission, a Northrop Grumman built ESPAStar satellite™ and a Wide field of vision test bed missile detection satellite launched on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, powered by solid rocket boosters supplied by Northrop Grumman and other critical components.

The ESPAStar The platform supports a wide range of missions using the ESPA standard. ESPAStar is equipped with multiple payload ports that can accommodate hosted and free-flying payloads.

Four of the company’s 63-inch diameter Graphite epoxy motors (GEM 63) solid rocket boosters provided approximately 1.5 million pounds of launch thrust to help lift the rocket and payload off the platform. Earlier this month, the company finalized a contract to have its GEM solid rocket boosters fly on the next-generation ULA Vulcan rocket, one of the largest commercial solid-state rocket engine contracts in history.

Northrop Grumman also supplied numerous subsystems for the ESPAStar bus, including solar panels, propellant tanks, satellite and star tracker structures.

Using advanced fiber placement and automated inspection manufacturing techniques, Northrop Grumman produced the composite first stage heat shield, the Centaur Interstage Adapter which houses the second stage motor and the wide tail which adapts from the basic vehicle to the fairing of five meters in diameter. The company also manufactured hydrazine propellant tanks, which supply the Centaur Upper Stage reaction concontrol system to provide guidance and control.

ESPAStar allows rapid access to space,” said Brashear Trojan, Vice President, National Security Systems, Northrop Grumman. “As the ESPAStar mission owner, we have combined critical technology into one cohesive mission, including hardware integration and testing, ground-based software, command and control development and integration, mission execution planning and in-orbit operations..”

Beginning July 1, 2022, online…

The launch of the United Launch Allianceit is Atlas V541 rocket, carrying the United States Space Force (USSF)-12 mission for Space Systems Command, was delayed no earlier than 6:00 p.m. EDT (3:00 p.m. PDT) Friday, July 1, due to inclement weather. The mission is to be launched from the Space Launch Complex-41 in Cape Canaveral Space Force StationFlorida.

The original post follows…

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V541 rocket with four side thrusters will launch the United States Space Force (USSF)-12 mission for the US Space Force Space Systems Command (SSC).

Take-off is scheduled from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FloridaThursday, June 30, 2022, 6:00 p.m. EDT (2200 UTC).

The payload was hoisted atop its launch vehicle on Wednesday June 15 to begin integrated operations.

The Atlas V rocket launching the USSF-12 Space Force mission features a In-flight power system (IFPS) to top it all Wide field of vision (WFOV) the payload batteries during the long orbit climb, and the ULA electrical integration lead Jordan Gleba worked to make sure it works as expected.

ULA’s Jordan Gleba

USSF-12 is a dual-manifest mission consisting of two satellites. The top payload is the Wide field of vision (WFOV) Test bed to demonstrate new missile warning satellite technologies. Launching into the bottom position of the payload stack is the Space test programit is USSF-12 Ring spatialship.

Anna Ly from ULA

It is incumbent on Anna LyUnited Launch Alliance (ULA) Mission Integration Systems Engineer (MISE) for the United States Space Force (USSF)-12 launch.

The latest forecast from Launch Weather Officer Jessica Williams of the 45th Space Force Weather Squadron indicates a 60% chance of acceptable conditions for this Atlas V and USSF-12 launch.

Forecast includes scattered low cloud and a broken shelf of high cloud, good visibility, scattered rain showers, southeasterly winds 12 to 17 knots and temperature near 82 degrees F .

The main area of ​​concern will be the violation of the Cumulus Cloud rule which protects against lightning strikes.

ULA will provide live updates on the status of the countdown from launch control to the start of the countdown and continuing until spacecraft separation in geosynchronous orbit. The launch webcast starts 20 minutes before takeoff.


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