Air Force SBSS Satellite Set to Launch July 9

[Satellite TODAY 07-06-10] The U.S. Air Force will launch its Space-Based Surveillance System (SBSS) satellite July 9 from the Vandenberg Air Force base in California, the Air Force confirmed July 5.
    SBSS aims to provide the Air Force with the capability to detect man-made hazardous objects from a geosynchronous orbit in space by tracking them once every 24 hours, rather than with ground-based radars and optical sensors. The Air Force said the need for space situational awareness was driven by the February 2009 collision of a defunct Russian satellite and an operational Iridium spacecraft in low Earth orbit.
    Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. designed and built the $500 million satellite for prime contractor Boeing Co. under a contract issued to the manufacturer in 2004. Boeing developed and will maintain the ground segment, with operations at Schriever Air Force Base and the 50th Space Wing in Colorado.

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