ORS-1 Launch Date Set

The first Operationally Responsive Space satellite, ORS-1, is scheduled to launch next week—June 28 to be exact—aboard a Minotaur I rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s eastern shore. It took just 32 months, from design to development, to get the satellite to the launch pad. “To develop, construct, and launch an operational satellite in 32 months reflects the dedication, determination, and diligence of the entire ORS-1 team,” said Peter Wegner, ORS director. “I’m confident that hard work will continue during launch and through the scheduled mission, which will provide the deployed warfighter with enhanced situational awareness to help protect them from harm.” ORS-1 carries a customized version of Goodrich’s SYERS-2 imagery sensor, a payload carried on U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. The satellite came to fruition out of talks on how the Defense Department could more readily field space capability to support the needs of commanders in Southwest Asia for greater battlespace awareness. (Kirtland report by Michael P. Kleiman)