MSX (Midcourse Space Experiment) demonstrated different multispectral imaging technologies to identify and track ballistic missiles during flight by observing rocket launches and orbital debris. Additionally it measured the composition and dynamics of the Earth's atmosphere by observing ozone, chloroflourocarbons, carbon dioxide and methane.
MSX contained a number of experiments for BMDO:
MSX was expected to cease operations when it ran out of coolant in 1997. However the visible light sensor, Space-Based Visible (SBV), was still operable since it did not need to be kept at cryogenic temperatures. MSX was used for an extended mission, during which it was used to track satellites and debris in and close to geosynchronous orbit. The satellite ceased operations in June 2008 following the failure of the SBV instrument.
|Type / Application:||SDI / BMD Experiments|
|Operator:||BMDO (formerly SDIO)|
|Contractors:||Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL)|
|Equipment:||SPIRIT III, UVSI, SBV, OSDP, deployable reference objects|
|Configuration:||3-Axis stabilized bus, 2 solar panels|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Lifetime:||1 year planned, 12 years reached|
|Orbit:||897 km × 907 km, 99.4°|