Second Surveillance Satellite at Cape

The second of two space tracking and surveillance system demonstration satellites arrived at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., on June 25, for launch preparation, lead contractor Northrop Grumman announced last week. This satellite joined the first STSS spacecraft which Northrop delivered to Cape Canaveral in May. Both STSS units, built for the Missile Defense Agency, are slated for launch in August aboard the same launch vehicle. Once on orbit, they will be tied into the US ballistic missile defense network; their infrared and visible light sensors will be used to help detect and track ballistic missiles in flight. The MDA intends to use them to demonstrate how to pass missile tracking data from satellites to missile defense interceptors in actionable timelines to enable the successful shootdown of threat missiles.