Oydssey is a technology demonstration satellite for the US Space Force’s tactically responsive launch program (TacRL), which is intended to to provide space domain awareness. The mission is also called TacRL-2.
The mission is an effort to figure out ways to shrink the timelines for planning space missions. The satellite was developed in less than a year and the launch provider was given 21 days notice to get ready for the flight. It was built by a new organization called “Space Safari” modeled after the Air Force’s “Big Safari” program started during the Cold War for special-mission aircraft. The payload was built based on off-the-shelf components and was joined with an off-the-shelf spacecraft bus of unknown origin. Once the satellite was built, the Space Force kept in storage until May 2021, when it was called up for launch.
The satellite was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base on 13 June 2021 on 21-day notice on a previously acquired Northrop Grumman Pegasus-XL rocket, one of two built originally for the failed Stratolaunch program.
|Type / Application:||Space surveillance|
|Operator:||US Space Force (USSF) Space Safari Program Office|
|Contractors:||US Space Force (USSF) Space Safari Program Office (prime), ? (bus)|
|Power:||Solar cells, batteries|
|Orbit:||405 km × 452 km, 97.48°|
|Odyssey (TacRL 2)||2021-051A||13.06.2021||Va, L-1011, RW20/22||Pegasus-XL|