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Tactical Satellite-3 Operating Smoothly Following Launch

File image.
by Michael Kleiman
377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Kirtland AFB NM (SPX) May 22, 2009
So far so good for Tactical Satellite-3's initial hours of its planned year-long mission.

About 90 minutes after a successful liftoff Tuesday from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va., the TacSat-3 program team established communication with the 880-pound spacecraft, operating 264 miles above the Earth.

"Following a flawless liftoff, the satellite is performing just fine. For the next two to four weeks, the TacSat-3 project team will be conducting on-orbit checkout of the spacecraft to ensure optimum performance," said Dr. Thomas Cooley, TacSat-3 program manager, Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate here.

"We are excited about demonstrating revolutionary technology, which will ultimately benefit the warfighter, during TacSat-3's 12-month flight."

TacSat-3's trio of pioneering payloads includes the Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer (ARTEMIS), a hyperspectral imager, the Office of Naval Research's Satellite Communications Package, and the Space Avionics Experiment, an AFRL-led experiment featuring the first space-based employment of plug-and-play technology.

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Orbital Launches Minotaur I Carrying TacSat-3 Satellite For USAF
Dulles VA (SPX) May 21, 2009
Orbital Sciences has announced that its Minotaur I rocket successfully launched the Tactical Satellite-3 (TacSat-3) for the U.S. Air Force. The mission originated from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) launch facility at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA. At approximately 7:55 p.m. (Eastern), the rocket's first stage ignited, beginning its flight into low-Earth ... read more

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