Please make a donation to support Gunter's Space Page.
Thank you very much for visiting Gunter's Space Page. I hope that this site is useful and informative for you.
If you appreciate the information provided on this site, please consider supporting my work by making a simple and secure donation via PayPal. Please help to run the website and keep everything free of charge. Thank you very much.

OSC: MicroStar

MicroStar (Orbcomm) [OSC]

MicroStar (double)
(OrbView 1) [OSC]

BATSAT (Teledesic T1) [OSC]

MicroStar-2 (generic) [Orbital]

Designed to be launched in multiple or "piggyback" units, Orbital's innovative MircroStar satellite platform supports payloads up to 68 kg and provides a three- to five-year mission life. The baseline bus is comprised of three rings stacked together vertically – a core ring housing all primary spacecraft bus systems and a payload support module consisting of two rings and a payload mounting shelf. Payloads requiring different depths can be easily accommodated by using fewer rings, or by creating a custom ring. The open avionics architecture, stackable mechanical design and scalable spacecraft design maximize payload performance and flexibility.

The MicroStar configuration is applicable for a variety of missions, from technology demonstrations to space science programs such as QuikTOMS. MicroStar is also an ideal bus for science missions that require simultaneous deployment of multiple spacecraft, as in certain magnetospheric and ionospheric investigations.

Using a production line approach for assembly and testing, Orbital has delivered 38 MicroStar spacecraft, including 26 Orbcomm satellites launched in 10 months. This approach provides cost and schedule advantages through the use of mature designs, familiar manufacturing and test equipment, dedicated and experienced personnel, and established vendor sources. The production line has remained in place to support Orbcomm spares and individual MicroStar missions such as T1 and MUBLCOM. NASA's QuikTOMS spacecraft is also taking advantage of this production line.

MicroStar's unique, stackable design offers frequent, cost-effective launch-sharing opportunities. For example, eight Orbcomm satellites are launched at one time on a Pegasus. While MicroStar is optimized for Orbital's Pegasus and Taurus launch vehicles, it can fly on other vehicles as well.

Customers can purchase the MicroStar spacecraft alone, or as part of a turn-key service that includes operations and data delivery as well. For the OrbView 1 program, Orbital provided end-to-end payload services. The company produced the satellite bus, integrated two payloads, and launched the satellite on Pegasus.

The MicroStar platform was originally developed to support the Orbcomm wireless data communications system, which provides real-time, mobile, two-way data and messaging communications services worldwide. The first three MicroStar units, Orbcomm FM-1 & -2 and the OrbView 1 remote sensing satellite, were launched on a single Pegasus in April 1995. Entering their fifth year of operation, these satellites continue to operate reliably.

The MicroStar-2 platform replaces the ring structure by a hexagonal structure.

Satellite Date Launcher Weight (kg) Remarks
Launch BOL
Microstar (Single)
FORMOSAT 3A (COSMIC 1) (ex ROCSAT 3A) 15.04.2006 Minotaur-1 70
FORMOSAT 3B (COSMIC 2) (ex ROCSAT 3B) 15.04.2006 Minotaur-1 70
FORMOSAT 3C (COSMIC 3) (ex ROCSAT 3C) 15.04.2006 Minotaur-1 70
FORMOSAT 3D (COSMIC 4) (ex ROCSAT 3D) 15.04.2006 Minotaur-1 70
FORMOSAT 3E (COSMIC 5) (ex ROCSAT 3E) 15.04.2006 Minotaur-1 70
FORMOSAT 3F (COSMIC 6) (ex ROCSAT 3F) 15.04.2006 Minotaur-1 70
MUBLCOM 18.05.1999 Pegasus-XL HAPS 48
Orbcomm FM01 (F1) 03.04.1995 Pegasus-H 40
Orbcomm FM02 (F2) 03.04.1995 Pegasus-H 40
Orbcomm FM03 (G1) 10.02.1998 Taurus-2210 40
Orbcomm FM04 (G2) 10.02.1998 Taurus-2210 40
Orbcomm FM05 (A1) 23.12.1997 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM06 (A2) 23.12.1997 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM07 (A3) 23.12.1997 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM08 (A4) 23.12.1997 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM09 (A5) 23.12.1997 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM10 (A6) 23.12.1997 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM11 (A7) 23.12.1997 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM12 (A8) 23.12.1997 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM13 (B1) 02.08.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM14 (B2) 02.08.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM15 (B2) 02.08.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM16 (B4) 02.08.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM17 (B5) 02.08.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM18 (B6) 02.08.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM19 (B7) 02.08.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM20 (B8) 02.08.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM21 (C1) 23.09.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM22 (C2) 23.09.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM23 (C3) 23.09.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM24 (C4) 23.09.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM25 (C5) 23.09.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM26 (C6) 23.09.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM27 (C7) 23.09.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM28 (C8) 23.09.1998 Pegasus-XL HAPS 40
Orbcomm FM29 (D1) cancelled Pegasus-XL HAPS 45 rebuilt as TACSAT 1
Orbcomm FM30 (D2) 04.12.1999 Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM31 (D3) 04.12.1999 Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM32 (D4) 04.12.1999 Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM33 (D5) 04.12.1999 Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM34 (D6) 04.12.1999 Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM35 (D7) 04.12.1999 Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM36 (D8) 04.12.1999 Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM37 (E1) cancelled Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM38 (E2) cancelled Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM39 (E3) cancelled Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM40 (E4) cancelled Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM41 (E5) cancelled Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM42 (E6) cancelled Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Orbcomm FM43 (E7) cancelled Pegasus-XL HAPS 45
Microstar (Double)
OrbView 1 (Microlab 1) 03.04.1995 Pegasus-H 68
QuikTOMS 21.09.2001 F Taurus-2110 166 Launch Failure
SBD 21.09.2001 F Taurus-2110 73 Launch Failure
Microstar (Triple)
BATSAT (Teledesic T1) 26.02.1998 Pegasus-XL 120
TacSat 1 (ex Orbcomm F29) ? Falcon-1 110
MicroStar-2
IBEX (SMEX 10, Explorer 91) 19.10.2008 Pegasus-XL [Star-27H] 105
ST 8 2009 Pegasus-XL 246 cancelled

Source: OSC Microstar Data Sheet