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MITEx A (Wild Geese)

MITEx A [DARPA]

MITEx (Micro-Satellite Technology Experiment) is an experimental U.S. military project to test whether the advanced technologies embedded in two miniature satellites and a new upper stage kick motor can operate through the rigors of spaceflight-

MiTEx will investigate and demonstrate advanced space technologies such as lightweight power and propulsion systems, avionics and spacecraft structures; commercial-off-the-shelf processors; affordable, responsive fabrication/build-to-launch techniques; and single-string components.

The MITEx experiment will be deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), from which the MITEx Upper stage will put the experiments into a geostationary orbit (GEO).

Once arriving in geostationary orbit, the satellite pair will be deployed from the stage to begin independent lives examining the value of operating miniature craft from such a high vantage point above Earth. The demonstration will give military planners real-life experience to draw upon when designing new projects.

The MiTEx spacecraft weigh about 500 pounds each. Orbital Sciences built one satellite and Lockheed Martin the other.

The satellites will conduct a variety of experiments in autonomous operations and maneuvering and station-keeping. Among their applications is probably the inspection of satellites in the geostationary orbit. Both MITEx satellites maneuvered close to the defunct DSP 23 early warning satellite, probably to assess the malfunction. The first made a flyby on December 23 2008 and the second on New Year's Day 2009.

The price tag for MiTEx has not been released. And the exact parking spots in geostationary orbit for the two spacecraft aren't being revealed.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: DARPA
Contractors: Orbital Sciences Corp. (OSC)
Equipment:
Configuration: Aquila-Bus
Propulsion:
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 1 year ?
Mass: ca. 225 kg
Orbit: GEO
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
MITEx A (Wild Geese, USA 187) 2006-024A 21.06.2006 CC SLC-17A Delta-7925 with MITEx B, MITEx upper stage
Further MITEX missions: