The U.S. Air Force plans to launch a space surveillance mission in 2021 to monitor the geosynchronous orbital belt that houses the service branch’s satellites, Space News reported Monday.
Mike Gruss writes Congress appropriated $27 million for space situational awareness systems related activities such as the Space Based Space Surveillance to be launched in 2021.
AnnMarie Annicelli, an Air Force spokeswoman, told Space News the service branch will release a solicitation for the SBSS follow-on mission that will feature three dedicated government satellites by October and provide a contract award the following year.
The report added Block 10 pathfinder, the current SBSS satellite, was launched in 2010 and will be serviceable until 2020 according to budget documents cited by Space News.
Boeing serves as the prime contractor for the SBSS program and leads a consortium that includes the Air Force Space Command, Space and Missile Systems Center, 1st Space Operations Squadron, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Harris Corp. and Orbital ATK.