The first Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System geosynchronous spacecraft was encapsulated into its payload fairing April 20 in preparation for an early May liftoff aboard an Atlas V rocket.
SBIRS GEO-1 will enhance the nation's missile warning capabilities and improve other critical mission areas. The GEO-1 satellite includes sophisticated scanning and staring sensors that will deliver enhanced infrared sensitivity and a reduction in area revisit times over the current constellation.
SBIRS is an A2100 satellite-based spacecraft. Work on the A2100 core's propulsion system, which positions the spacecraft in orbit, is done at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
- Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully completed the design certification review for the upgraded RS-68A engine configuration, demonstrating the hydrogen-fueled engine has met all requirements to power heavy-lift vehicles into space.
The first three flight engines, 30003, 30004 and 30005, have completed acceptance testing.
Engine 30003 has already been integrated onto a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle in Decatur, Ala. Integration activities for engine 30004 have been initiated, and the third engine, 30005, has successfully completed its processing at Stennis Space Center, Miss., and is awaiting shipment to Decatur, Ala., in May.
The three engines are scheduled to boost a future Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle into orbit carrying a government payload.
Tidbits from other fields
Shipbuilding: BAE Systems will showcase its ship repair capabilities at the 2011 Offshore Technology Conference May 2-5 in Houston. BAE Systems has six full-service shipyards, including the 423-acre site in Mobile, Ala., and a satellite ship repair facility in Moss Point, Miss. … Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., owner of Pascagoula’s 10,800-employee shipyard, said its board of directors approved Irwin F. Edenzon and Matthew J. Mulherin as corporate vice presidents and presidents of the company’s two major shipyards. Edenzon was named president of Ingalls Shipbuilding, and Mulherin became president of Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. ... Shipyard workers at Ingalls Shipbuilding unveiled a 350-pound mahogany tribute to 9/11 to be displayed near one of the three ships being built to commemorate the event.