Coming Down the Pike

Building upon the success of the ORS-1 satellite, the Defense Department’s Operationally Responsive Space office is progressing with its next three satellite projects, said office officials. ORS-2, the next satellite in the series, is envisioned, like ORS-1, to provide combatant commanders with enhanced battlespace awareness during its planned one-year orbital mission. It will feature a modular, rapidly configurable bus that uses plug-‘n’-play technology and will carry a radar and electronic tactical support payloads, according to an Aug. 30 office release. The satellite’s modular bus is scheduled for delivery before summer’s end, but the satellite’s launch date is still to be determined, states the release. Meanwhile, ORS-3 is scheduled for launch from Wallops Island, Va., in August 2013. Its primary payload will be the Air Force Space Test Program’s Satellite-3 experiment, but it will also carry 27 other experiments and demonstrate a new launch vehicle flight safety architecture. ORS-4 could launch as early as September 2013 aboard a three-stage Super Strypi sounding rocket from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii. It will host an integrated payload stack with a still-undetermined number of secondary experiments, states the release. (Kirtland report by Michael P. Kleiman)