Encyclopedia Astronautica

American manufacturer of spacecraft. Air Force Research Laboratory, USA.


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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • XSS American rendezvous technology satellite. 2 launches, 2003.01.29 (XSS-10) and 2005.04.11 (USA 165). More...

See also

AFRL Chronology

2006 December 16 - . 12:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Wallops Island. Launch Complex: Wallops Island LA0B. LV Family: Minotaur. Launch Vehicle: Minotaur 1. LV Configuration: Minotaur 1 6.
  • Tacsat-2 - . Mass: 370 kg (810 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: AFRL. Manufacturer: MicroSats. Program: Tacsat. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Tacsat ORS. Decay Date: 2011-02-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 29653 . COSPAR: 2006-058A. Apogee: 426 km (264 mi). Perigee: 410 km (250 mi). Inclination: 40.0100 deg. Period: 92.93 min. Tacsat-2 was a prototype rapid development/rapid deployment tactical military satellite that provided American Joint Task Force commanders direct control of a satellite providing both SIGINT and imagery with a resolution of better than 1-m. The known communications payload used an 8 GHz (X-band) downlink. This was the first orbital launch from Wallops Island since 1985. TacSat-2 was to have been launched by a Falcon-1 from Vandenberg into a sun-synchronous orbit. However, the failure of Falcon-1 on its long-delayed maiden in March 2006 caused AFRL to award a new launch contract for TacSat-2 and TacSat-3 to OSC in May 2006. The launch was achieved using OSC's Minotaur launch vehicle only seven months after contract award.

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