General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced that its Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite was successfully launched on-board the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral on June 25.
The launch, sponsored by the U.S. Air Force’s Space Technology Program 2 (STP-2), is delivering 25 separate satellites into low Earth orbit.
“This first OTB launch marks a very exciting beginning for us and our multiple payload customers,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “We are extremely proud of our team, whose tremendous efforts over the past few years have culminated in today’s successful launch. We now look forward to initiating the post-launch commissioning activities and the start of payload mission operations.”
GA-EMS’ OTB spacecraft hosts multiple payloads for on-orbit technology demonstration. The OTB hosted payloads launched today include: NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Deep Space Atomic Clock, designed and built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to support deep space navigation and exploration; a Modular Solar Array developed for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL); an Integrated Miniaturized Electrostatic Analyzer sensor payload developed by cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy; the RadMon next generation radiation effects monitor; the FlexRX programmable satellite receiver; and Celestis cremains.
“OTB’s modularity and versatility allows for the simultaneous launch of multiple demonstration payloads on a single satellite, eliminating the need for customers to bear the costly burden of a dedicated spacecraft and launch,” stated Nick Bucci, vice president of Missile Defense and Space Systems. “OTB gets our customers’ payloads where they need to be, when they need to be there.”