STPSat-6 safely arrives in Florida

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  • Space and missile Systems Center Public Affairs

The U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Test Program Satellite – 6 space vehicle arrived at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, on May 6, 2021. STPSat-6 is the primary space vehicle on the Space Test Program - 3 mission, and was safely transported by Northrop Grumman from their facility in Dulles, Virginia where STPSat-6 was built and tested. STPSat-6 is on schedule to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on 23 June, 2021.

The arrival of STPSat-6 at ASO marks the start of final spacecraft processing. These final processing activities include launch site functional testing, fueling, and integration with the Long Duration Propulsive ESPA – 1 rideshare spacecraft and the Atlas V 551 launch vehicle.

STPSat-6 advances warfighting capabilities by delivering operational nuclear detonation detection capabilities and demonstrating new space technologies in the areas of space domain awareness, weather, and laser communications. The Space Test Program division manages the STPSat-6 program and is responsible for coordinating the integration of nine payloads onto STPSat-6. These nine payloads include Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System – 3, the primary payload on STPSat-6 developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration, National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration payload, and seven experimental payloads manifested after being assessed and prioritized by the DoD Space Experiment Review Board.

 “The arrival of STPSat-6 at ASO is a huge success for the program. The STPSat-6 team overcame many challenges to reach this milestone and have shown great resiliency and dedication. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with on this unique and challenging program,” said Col. Carlos Quinones, STP director.

The DoD STP demonstrates emerging technologies in space to accelerate the development of war-winning space capabilities for the joint warfighter. Managed by the USSF’s SMC at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, STP provides mission design, spacecraft acquisition, integration, launch and on-orbit operations support for the DoD’s top priority Science and Technology experiments. As the primary agent for S&T payloads on multi-manifest missions launched on both USSF and commercially procured launch vehicles, STP significantly expands space access while delivering innovative space capabilities. Over the last 53 years, STP has executed 283 missions and provided space access for 621 DoD experiments, proving out technologies that are critical to current operational space systems. STP continues to drive space innovation by testing novel approaches to orbit, expanding commercial and international partnerships, and enhancing fundamental space science.


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