STPSat-1 Operations Transfer to Naval Research Laboratory

8/1/2008 - 40-08r
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The operations for Space Test Program Satellite-1 (STPSat-1), which launched on March 8, 2007, have been transferred to the Naval Research Laboratory, as of June 1, 2008. Both of the science payloads aboard STPSat-1, the Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric Radicals (SHIMMER) and the Scintillation and Tomography Receiver in Space (CITRIS), were developed and provided by NRL. During this past year, STPSat-1 enabled the NRL investigators to gather high quality scientific data while demonstrating new technologies on-orbit with the CITRIS and SHIMMER instruments.

Based on the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program's charter, fiscal responsibility for STPSat-1 operations must be transferred so that this functional space asset can continue to deliver outstanding data.

A collaborative effort between NRL's Space Science Division, the Plasma Physics Division, the Spacecraft Engineering Department, and Tiger Innovations LLC, demonstrated the capability to operate STPSat-1 from the NRL Blossom Point Satellite Tracking Facility using a novel cost effective approach. Based on this successful demonstration, the DoD Space Test Program transferred the operations of STPSat-1 to NRL on June 1, 2008, thus facilitating the continued science return of this mission. The STPSat-1 mission operation is being jointly supported by NRL and NASA.

STPSat-1 in the on-orbit configuration (simulated image, courtesy of AeroAstro)

NRL's Blossom Point Satellite Operations Center

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