Testing Complete On SBSS, Ground Systems
The Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) satellite and ground
system built by Ball Aerospace and Boeing have completed final
testing and are scheduled to be launched September 25 from
Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, CA.
SBSS Ready To Ship Photo Courtesy Ball Aerospace Media
Once on orbit, SBSS will dramatically improve the accuracy and
timeliness of space situational awareness for the United States.
The satellite will be the U.S. Air Force's only space-based sensor
capable of detecting and monitoring debris, satellites and other
space objects without limitations from weather, atmosphere or time
"Every day, threats to our nation's valuable satellites and
space platforms are growing," said Col. J.R. Jordan, vice
commander, Space Superiority Systems Wing, U.S. Air Force Space and
Missile Systems Center, in a news release Tuesday. "SBSS will
revolutionize our ability to find and monitor objects that could
harm the space assets we depend on for security, communications,
weather forecasting and many other essential
"With its gimbaled camera, reprogrammable onboard processor and
open ground system architecture, SBSS can respond quickly to
today's changing mission requirements and adapt to meet tomorrow's
threats as well," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general
manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "Boeing looks
forward to putting these advanced capabilities into action for the
The Boeing team, including Ball Aerospace, delivered the
groundbreaking SBSS system less than three years after the Air
Force's Critical Design Review. In May, the satellite was shipped
from Ball Aerospace's facility in Boulder, CO, to Vandenberg Air
Force Base. Since then, the SBSS team has completed three full
launch countdown rehearsals with the launch team at Vandenberg Air
Force Base and the mission-operation team in the SBSS Satellite
Operations Center at Schriever Air Force Base, CO. The Air Force
and the Boeing team completed the final mission operations dress
rehearsal in June.
Ball is proud to contribute to a program that will improve
productivity and overall flexibility for space situational
awareness," said David L. Taylor, president and CEO of Ball
Aerospace. "SBSS is a critical component that will allow the Air
Force to keep a sharper eye on developments that might threaten
U.S. assets in space."
"The SBSS team is ready to go on September 25," said Todd
Citron, director, Boeing Advanced Space and Intelligence Systems.
"We've thoroughly rehearsed all plans and procedures, the Satellite
Operations Center has been configured for flight operations, and
the SBSS satellite and Minotaur launch vehicle are completing final
preparations. We're looking forward to putting this spacecraft into
orbit so that it can perform its vital mission."