Science and Technology News

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

45th Space Wing launches 6 second-generation ORBCOMM satellites

by 45th Space Wing
Public Affairs Office

7/15/2014 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing supported Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) successful launch of their Falcon 9 rocket carrying six second-generation ORBCOMM communications satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 here at 11 a.m. EDT July 14.

The rocket flew in the Falcon 9 v1.1 configuration with upgraded Merlin 1D engines, stretched fuel tanks, and a payload fairing.

A combined team of military members, government civilians and contractors from across the 45th Space Wing provided vital launch support to the SpaceX mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs.

"The 45th Space Wing is proud of what we do here on the Space Coast, and we couldn't do what we do without the support of our entire team," said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority for the launch.

According to ORBCOMM, these next generation OG2 satellites have advanced communications technologies and are significantly larger with an "X Factor" that makes them even more powerful, efficient and cutting-edge.

Built by Sierra Nevada Corporation, the 170 kg satellites will provide a much needed boost in their service capacity. Another will be launched later this year.

Each OG2 satellite is the equivalent of six OG1 satellites, providing quicker service, enhancing coverage at higher latitudes and allowing for larger message sizes and increased data rates, they reported.

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