Air Force launches ORS-1 prototype satellite

The first Operationally Responsive Space prototype satellite aboard a Minotaur I launch vehicle was launched by the U.S. Air Force on June 30 at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., according to an Air Force press release.

ORS-1, which deployed 12 minutes after launch, is an example of the promise that low-cost, tactically focused satellites offer, the service said.

"Words cannot express how proud I am of the entire ORS-1 team," Col. Carol Welsch, SMC/SD acting director and ORS-1 mission director, said in the release. "The men and women of the Space Development and Test Directorate, the Operationally Responsive Space Office, and our industry partners of Goodrich, ATK and Orbital have all worked tirelessly to move forward on the concept of a responsive space capability designed to support the warfighter. Their teamwork and dedication is simply inspiring."

The ORS-1 prototype’s creation and turnaround highlights the service's ability to meet the needs of warfighters in a realistic time frame. "Our team was able to develop, integrate, test and launch this system in just over 30 months, which is a remarkable achievement," Welsch said.

ORS-1 was designed in response to an order from the U.S. Strategic Command in support of the U.S. Central Command.

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