SBSS Launch Is On for Fall

So said Air Force Space Command boss Gen. Robert Kehler during a Capitol Hill breakfast seminar July 14. Kehler called the Space-Based Space Surveillance “a very expensive and important satellite” that will provide a much-needed boost to USAF’s space monitoring capability. The spacecraft itself passed final checkout by the Boeing-Bell contractor team earlier this year, but there was a problem identified with the Minotaur launch vehicle. Kehler said technicians “understand what the issue is” so “we all have confidence” the problems will be resolved in time for a launch this fall. As for a follow on, the situation is still fluid between a clone or a successor block capability, but Kehler said AFSPC has given requirements to the Space and Missile Systems Center.