STPSat 6 is a planned experimental spacecraft for the Department of Defense's Space Test Program (STP).
The satellite is based on Orbital ATK's high-end modular bus A-500 bus, which another U.S. government agency, likely DARPA, bought for a different geosynchronous mission but transferred to the Space Test Program after deciding it didnít need it. The satellite will be directly inserted into an orbit slightly above the geostationary orbit.
STPSat-6 will carry several experiments into a geosynchronous orbit. The primary payload is the SABRS-3 (Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System), which provides nuclear detonation detection and space environment data, and is designed to complement nuclear detonation detectors aboard current GPS spacecraft.
A second payload is NASA's LCRD (Laser Communications Relay Demonstration) payload, which was originally planned to be flown as a hosted payload on an SSL built commercial communications satellite.
The satellite will also host seven Department of Defense Space Experiment Review Board (SERB) payloads from the Space Test Program office.
Launch of the satellite is planned as the primary payload on the STP-3 launch in 2018, to be competively bid between an ULA Atlas-5 or a SpaceX Falcon-9 v1.2 rocket. In June 2017, am Atlas-5(551) was selected to launch the STP-3 mission, including an integrated propulsive EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (IP-ESPA) holding up to six payloads, in 2019.
|Type / Application:||Technology|
|Operator:||USAF STP (Space Test Program)|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|STPSat 6||-||2019||CC SLC-41||Atlas-5(551)||with (6 small satellites)|
Further STP missions: