Space Surveillance Satellite Ready for Launch

The Boeing Company and its teammate Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. have announced that the Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) satellite and ground system have completed final testing.

The satellite is scheduled to be launched Sept. 25 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, Calif.

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Once on orbit, SBSS will improve the accuracy and timeliness of space situational awareness for the United States. The satellite will be the U.S. Air Force’s only space-based sensor capable of detecting and monitoring debris, satellites and other space objects without limitations from weather, atmosphere or time of day.

“Every day, threats to our nation’s valuable satellites and space platforms are growing,” said Col. J.R. Jordan, vice commander, Space Superiority Systems Wing, U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.

“SBSS will revolutionize our ability to find and monitor objects that could harm the space assets we depend on for security, communications, weather forecasting and many other essential services.”

The Boeing team, including Ball Aerospace, delivered the SBSS system less than three years after the Air Force’s Critical Design Review. In May, the satellite was shipped from Ball Aerospace’s facility in Boulder, Colo., to Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Since then, the SBSS team has completed three full launch countdown rehearsals with the launch team at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the mission-operation team in the SBSS Satellite Operations Center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. The Air Force and the Boeing team completed the final mission operations dress rehearsal in June.

Boeing is responsible for overall program management; systems engineering and integration; design and development of the Satellite Operations Center; and system operations and maintenance.

Ball Aerospace developed, designed, manufactured, integrated and tested the satellite, using the Boeing-built onboard mission data processor.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities.

The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s leading defense, space and security businesses specializing in capabilities-driven customer solutions.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. released the information Tuesday, Sept. 21.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman