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SBIRS System Passes Tests Simulating Rigors Of Space

By | July 30, 2007

      Sensors for the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) passed tests, prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] announced.

      Northrop Grumman Corp. [NOC], the payload subcontractor, tested the sensors for more than three months at the Northrop facilities in Azusa, Calif., Lockheed stated.

      Lockheed and Northrop are developing SBIRS for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles. The agency operates SBIRS.

      GPS Anniversary

      The first U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System Block IIR (GPS IIR) satellite surpassed its 10-year design life of on-orbit service, providing military and civil users world-wide with navigation aids, Lockheed announced.

      Launched from Cape Canaveral July 23, 1997, the first GPS IIR satellite is one of 30 operational GPS satellites currently on orbit.

      Rocket Lightning Contract

      NASA gave Ivey’s Construction Inc. of Merritt Island, Fla., a $27.9 million assignment to build a new lightning protection system for Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, to protect the next generation of U.S. spacecraft.

      The spacecraft in the Constellation Program are the Orion crew exploration vehicle and the Ares I rockets. Specifically, the lightning gear will protect Ares I, cutting the probability of a direct lightning strike to the Ares I and associated launch equipment during processing and other activities prior to flight.

      Ivey’s will provide three 600-foot, self-supporting structural steel towers and an overhead wire system with associated conductors by 2010, which is the year the old space shuttle fleet retires. Orion-Ares will fly beginning in 2015.

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