First Quick Reaction Satellite Delivered

Northrop Grumman recently delivered a revolutionary new satellite to the Air Force that is quickly configurable for missions ranging from communications and weather to surveillance, the company announced. Dubbed Modular Space Vehicle, the satellite will allow payloads to be prepared and launched to support specific operational needs in a matter of weeks, instead of years, according to the company. “MSV provides ways for future development of rapid response space capabilities that will be timely, cost-efficient, and flexible,” said Doug Young, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for missile defense and advanced missions. MSV can be launched on a number of different boosters, including the Minotaur I and IV, Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle class boosters, and the Falcon 9, according to the company. It also can operate from low and medium Earth orbits, as well as from Geosynchronous orbit, states the release. The satellite structure incorporates a power supply and controls that can be tailored to the specific mission needs. Northrop Grumman delivered the first MSV to the Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space office at Kirtland AFB, N.M., on Feb. 25. (See also Making Space Responsive from the December 2010 edition of Air Force Magazine.)