Missile-Tracking Satellite Passes Environmental Tests

A geosynchronous satellite for the planned U.S. Space-Based Infrared System has successfully undergone a thermal vacuum testing process designed to simulate conditions in orbit, Lockheed Martin Corp. announced yesterday (see GSN, Nov. 4).

After performing final factory modifications on the satellite, the U.S. defense contractor is expected to carry out integrated spacecraft and system tests on the craft to evaluate its readiness for launch. The device is scheduled for transfer late next year to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where it would move through final preparations before it is fired into orbit.

"Successful completion of environmental testing gives us high confidence in the capabilities of this technically complex satellite and represents the culmination of years of hard work by a government/industry team dedicated to achieving mission success on this vitally important program," Col. Roger Teague, the SBIRS wing commander, said in a statement.

"We are on track with our remaining work ahead and look forward to the delivery of this first-of-its-kind satellite, which will provide substantially improved surveillance capabilities for the warfighter," he said (Lockheed Martin Corp. release, Dec. 1).

December 2, 2009
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A geosynchronous satellite for the planned U.S. Space-Based Infrared System has successfully undergone a thermal vacuum testing process designed to simulate conditions in orbit, Lockheed Martin Corp. announced yesterday (see GSN, Nov. 4).