Let’s Get Started

2010 promises to be a busy year for military space launches, according to Air Force data. Leading off is the May liftoff of the first Global Positioning System Block IIF navigation satellite. After that, the Space Based Space Surveillance spacecraft is slated to go into orbit around June. SBSS has been waiting on its launch vehicle to be cleared for use after an anomaly last year with a similar rocket. Next up is the August launch of TacSat-4, the next in a series of small-sized experimental satellites. Two launch missions are then set for “the fall”: the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, providing protected military communications, and the Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload, or CHIRP. Last on the docket is the November start of ORS-1, a small-sized satellite carrying a modified surveillance sensor from the U-2 reconnaissance airplane that will increase US Central Command’s overhead monitoring capacity.