Monday, March 27, 2017
SBIRS transmitting images
From its final orbit location 22,000 miles above the equator, the third Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite recently sent its first images back to Earth. The satellite was launched on Jan. 20 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and is the third in a series of Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites that the U.S. Air Force uses to provide faster and more accurate missile warning data to the nation and its allies. The satellite reached orbit, where it successfully completed deployments of its sun-tracking solar arrays, antenna wing assemblies and light shade. The next satellite in the series will undergo final assembly, integration and test at Lockheed Martin's satellite production facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., prior to its launch planned for later this year. (Source: Spacewar.com, 03/27/17) Gulf Coast note: The satellite's core propulsion system and thermal blankets are integrated by Lockheed Martin at Stennis Space Center, Miss.