TacSat-3 Information

    TacSat-3 launches from Wallops Island

    TacSat-3 Launches from Wallops Island. Image Credit: NASA

    View Larger Image TacSat-3 in flight.

    TacSat-3 in flight. Image Credit: NASA

    View Larger Image
    Mission Update 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 20, 2009: TacSat-3 successfully launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on May 19, 2009 at 7:55 p.m. EDT.

    Media wishing to cover the mission must register with Rebecca Powell at rebecca.h.powell@nasa.gov by 8 a.m., Friday, May 15.
    Those members of the media that have previously attended the past attempts or previously registered need to re-register.
    Freelancers also need to submit a letter from the media organization that they are representing.

    Invited Guests:
    Guests that have sent in an RSVP for the May 19 launch attempt may pick up their new badges at the Main Base security bldg. between 1 and 5:30 p.m. on the day of launch. A photo ID will be required. DO NOT GO TO THE NASA VISITOR CENTER.
    The TacSat-3 Guest Badge that was previously issued will NOT be honored for the May 19 launch attempt.

    Guests need to be at the Bldg. E-100 on the Main Base by 6 p.m. on launch day.
    The buses will depart the Bldg. E-100 on the Main Base at 6:30 p.m. to go to the U-40 viewing site.
    After the launch, guests will return to Bldg. E-100 and then depart.

    Mission Information
    The Air Force Research Laboratory’s TacSat-3 satellite will launch May 5 on an Air Force Minotaur I rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The launch window on May 5 will run from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

    TacSat-3 features three revolutionary trials: the Raytheon Company-built Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer hyperspectral imager, the Office of Naval Research's Satellite Communications Package, and the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Avionics Experiment. This trio of payloads will offer real-time imagery (within 10 minutes of collection), sea-based information transmitted from ocean buoys and plug-and-play avionics to assist the warfighter in keeping one step ahead of the adversary.

    The PharmaSat experiment, developed by NASA’s Ames Research Center and will measure the influence of microgravity upon yeast resistance to an antifungal agent. PharmaSat focuses on questions key to countermeasure development for long-term space travel and habitation.

    Three cubesats will be launched as secondary payloads on the TacSat-3 mission. The satellites, which contain their own power and data systems, are four-inch cubes that weigh 2.2 pounds each. The cubesats are being provided by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif. and the Hawk Institute for Space Sciences, Pocomoke City, Md. The three satellites are placed in a Poly Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD), the standard deployment system for cubesats. The P-POD was developed by the Aerospace Engineering Department at Cal Poly. During the rocket’s ascent, each cubesat will be deployed separately from the P-POD into space.

    Office of the Secretary of Defense Operationally Responsive Space Office
    U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center
    Air Force Research Laboratory
    NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility
    NASA’s Ames Research Center
    Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
    Raytheon Corporation
    Alliant Techsystems
    Hawk Institute for Space Sciences
    The Aerospace Corporation
    California Polytechnic State University
    Orbital Sciences Corporation

    Launch Information
    The TacSat-3 mission is scheduled for launch on the evening of May 5, 2009. The window runs through May 9. The launch window on May 5 is from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

    Viewing the Launch
    The launch will be visible in the mid-Atlantic region. Locally, the NASA Visitor Center on Va. Route 175 and the beach at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge/Assateague National Seashore will be open to view the launch.

    Launch Status
    Prior to the start of the countdown on launch day, updates on the status of the launch will be provided on this web page and on the Wallops launch status line at 757-824-2050.

    On the day of the launch updates will be provided on the status line and radio station 760 AM, which has a range of about 5 miles from the NASA Visitor Center. In addition, the launch will be web cast at http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/webcast/.

    Countdown status also will be available during the countdown on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NASA_Wallops

    Launch Vehicle Information
    TacSat-3 will be launched on board a Minotaur 1 rocket, integrated by Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC). The Minotaur 1 is a four-stage vehicle, two stages being refurbished Minuteman II stages and the two stages being OSC developed. The Minotaur is about 70 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

    Mission Documents
    Wallops Mission Planning Lab Video Simulation
    Launch News Release
    TacSat-3 Fact Sheet
    Minotaur I Fact Sheet
    PharmaSat Fact Sheet
    CubeSat Backgrounder
    Wallops Launch Range Fact Sheet

    Media Information>
    Media Guide

    Contact Information
    For information about the launch, contact Keith Koehler (757-824-1579), Betty Flowers (757-824-1582) or Rebecca Powell (757-824-1139).

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