A U.S. Air Force satellite is scheduled Friday to launch into orbit aboard the Orbital ATK-built Minotaur IV rocket that will lift off from a launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Spaceflight Insider reported Wednesday.
The Operationally Responsive Space 5 satellite will work to provide situational awareness capabilities as the U.S. military works to monitor other satellites and space debris in geosynchronous orbit.
ORS-5 has an optical sensor that works to track changes in space and is designed to act as a “gap-filler” mission for the Space-Based Space Surveillance Block 10 mission.
Orbital ATK integrated the 250-pound satellite with the rocket on Aug. 14 three days after Astrotech Space Operations incorporated ORS-5 into its payload fairing at its facility in Florida.
“The delivery and upcoming launch of ORS-5 marks a significant milestone in fulfilling our commitment to the space situational awareness mission and U.S. Strategic Command,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space.
Thompson added that the service branch will employ the satellite for at least three years.
The service branch spent a total of approximately $87.5 million on development work, ground support systems and launch services for the satellite, the report added.