STPSat-5 Ready for Launch

  • Published
  • SMC Public Affairs Office

The Space and Missile Systems Center announced today that STPSat-5, a U.S. Air Force satellite, finished preparations and is fully integrated onboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle. STPSat-5 is one of several DoD missions launching on Spaceflight Industries SSO-A “Small Sat Express.” SSO-A is a commercial launch mission provided by Spaceflight Industries and be launched into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle; Initial Launch Capability (ILC) is targeted for Nov. 19 - 25. 


STPSat-5 is a Department of Defense (DoD) science and technology mission designed to host five small DoD Space Experiment Review Board payloads. STPSat-5 will demonstrate the capabilities of low-cost spacecraft to meet the needs of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions. STPSat-5 is a partnership between Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). STPSat-5 is the first Air Force mission to be manifested aboard a commercially procured launch service. SSO-A features an integrated stack comprised of two independent free-flier deployment systems capable of deploying up to 1500 kg. The mission will be carrying payloads from 35 government and commercial organizations from 18 different countries.


STPSat-5 is one of the first Air Force satellites to launch under the Space and Missile Systems Center’s SMC 2.0 initiative.  SMC 2.0 focuses on improving innovation, strengthening current partnerships, and forging new partnerships with foreign allies and commercial space companies.  STPSat-5 demonstrates how commercially-procured launch services can increase resiliency in the acquisition process by providing more flexible access to space for DoD capabilities.  


Media representatives who would like to submit questions or interview a subject matter expert about the STP and RSLP programs should send an e-mail to