So Far So Good

Since its ride into space almost one week ago, the Air Force’s first Space Based Infrared System geosynchronous satellite, GEO-1, has functioned flawlessly. “Things have been absolutely picture perfect for SBIRS. We could not have asked for a better launch and performance with the satellite thus far,” said Douglas Loverro, executive director of the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif. Only 43 minutes into the launch, ground control established a contact, watching the satellite through its successful separation from the launch booster, Loverro told reporters during a telecon Wednesday. The satellite has already completed three of the six liquid apogee engine burns needed for it to reach its intended operational orbit. It’s expected to arrive at that perch on May 16, he said. Once there, ground controllers will run a series of final checks, before deploying GEO-1’s antennas and solar array.