The Optionally Responsive Space-1 satellite was declared to achieve initial/final operational capability, according to an Air Force statement.
Air Force Gen. William Shelton on Jan. 3 declared the milestone for ORS-1 milestone, which went from the drawing board to the launch pad in 32 months and earned early combatant command acceptance in September, fewer than 90 days after liftoff, according to the statement.
Goodrich [GR] is the prime contractor for the ORS-1 program. ATK [ATK] is the subcontractor and built the spacecraft bus, according to an ATK spokeswoman.
According to Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Jackson, initial operational capability and full operational capability declaration were combined because ORS-1was produced in response to a U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) “urgent need” and no follow-on capability is planned.
The total amount spent on ORS-1, including satellite and ground system acquisition, launch and on-orbit operations was $224 million, according to Jackson.
“(ORS-1) is meeting requirements we established at the start of the program and (CENTCOM is) now finding new uses for it, so it continues to be a big impact to (its) overall mission operations,” ORS-1 Program Manager Thom Davis said in a statement. Jackson said those requirements established at the start of the program are classified but said ORS-1 directly supports CENTCOM operations by providing battlespace awareness capabilities.
Jackson also said now that ORS-1 is now fully accepted for mission operations the next step in the program is operating the satellite to support CENTCOM needs until it is “deemed no longer needed or no longer capable.”
The ORS-1 satellite program features a modified version of the SYERS-2 sensor currently employed by the U-2 surveillance aircraft, the statement said. The program began in October 2008 after CENTCOM addressed an urgent requirement for enhanced battlefield awareness with U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), according to the statement.
Established in 2007, the ORS office, a Defense Department-administered unit, reports to the Air Force Secretary in his position as the department’s executive agent for space, the statement said. The ORS office has been tasked to design and develop low-cost, rapid-reaction payloads, buses, space lift and launch-control methods to meet joint military operational requirements for on-demand space support and regeneration, according to the statement.