ORS-1 Heads to Wallops Island

US defense officials approved the first Operationally Responsive Space satellite, ORS-1, for shipment to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia for integration with its Minotaur 1 launch vehicle. The satellite is currently scheduled for launch in mid June. “This team has just accomplished the impossible by building an operationally relevant satellite in a mere 30 months,” said Col. Carol Welsch, acting director of the Air Force’s Space Development and Test Directorate at Kirtland AFB, N.M., in a release. “We’re excited to field this important capability to meet a [US Central Command] urgent need.” The satellite features the SYERS-2 electro-optical/infrared sensor—the primary camera on the U-2 reconnaissance airplane—and will provide battlespace awareness to troops in Southwest Asia. ORS-1 still needs to complete launch-site testing, vehicle checkout, and launch vehicle integration and closeout at Wallops before launch. (See also ORS-1 Nears Launch from the Daily Report archives)