Press Release

Ball Aerospace STPSat-2 Satellite Launches Aboard STP-S26 Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
November 22, 2010
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STPSat-2 will deliver a responsive spacecraft solution for U.S. Air Force

The STPSat-2 satellite, built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. for the U.S. Air Force STP-S26 launch, lifted off successfully from the Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska, at 4:25 p.m. local time (6:25 MST) on board a Minotaur IV rocket.

STPSat-2 is the first spacecraft for the Department of Defense (DoD) Space Test Program Standard Interface Vehicle (STP-SIV) program managed by the Space Development and Test Directorate at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, N.M. The STP-SIV architecture developed for STPSat-2 supports the Operationally Responsive Space strategy to ensure U.S. space superiority.

As the prime contractor, Ball Aerospace designed and built the spacecraft and standard payload interface, integrated the three payloads, performed space vehicle environmental testing and also provided launch and mission support. STPSat-3, a clone of STPSat-2, is nearing completion at Ball Aerospace with payload integration scheduled for February 2011. STPSat-3 will host four DoD experimental payloads.

“The STPSAT-2 spacecraft and its follow-on provide the nation’s responsive space community with a flexible solution that addresses the critical need to manage cost, risk and performance,” said David L. Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace. “The STP-SIV accommodates a broad range of payloads for the DoD and the science and technology communities, from missile warning to earth-remote sensing to situational awareness.”

Using flight-proven hardware for the spacecraft (and developmental hardware only on the experimental payloads), each bus can accommodate up to four independent payloads, each one having its own separate power and data interface. This makes the standard interface of the STPSat-2 spacecraft compatible with multiple launch vehicles carrying experimental and risk reduction payloads into various low-Earth orbits.

The STP-S26 mission is the 26th small launch vehicle mission in the Space Test Program’s 40-year history of flying Defense Department experiments.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications. For more information visit

Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL) is a supplier of high-quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,000 people worldwide and reported 2009 sales of more than $7.3 billion including discontinued operations. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.