Congratulations to ULA, Space Systems Command, and the U.S. Space Force on the successful USSF-12 launch.
Futuramic was at Cape Canaveral, FL on July 1st, 2022, as ULA launched two US national security payloads. The first is the Space Force’s Wide Field of View (WFOV) Testbed satellite, the second is a multi-manifest satellite for the Department of Defense (DoD).
“A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket is launching the USSF-12 mission for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC). USSF-12 features two satellite payloads: the Wide Field of View (WFOV) Testbed for SSC’s Space Sensing Directorate and the USSF-12 Ring spacecraft for the Defense Department’s Space Test Program. Atlas V will deliver both spacecraft directly to geosynchronous orbit approximately 22,000 miles (35,500 km) above the equator approximately 6 hours after liftoff. Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
The forward payload, WFOV, is a testbed spacecraft that informs the Next Gen Overhead Persistent Infrared program (OPIR). The Next Gen OPIR program will succeed the Space Based Infrared Systems program and is designed provide a resilient space-based global missile warning capability against emerging missile and counter-space threats. Sponsored by Space Systems Command and managed by the NASA Ames Research Center, the mid-sized WFOV spacecraft is based on Millennium’s AQUILA M8 affordable platform series and hosts a transformational OPIR six-degree staring sensor developed under a separate contract by L3Harris Technologies. The WFOV testbed is designed for a 3- to 5-year life with a total mass up to 6,613 lbs (3,000 kg) and a payload accommodation over 771 lbs (350 kg). WFOV’s primary mission in orbit is to explore future missile warning algorithms with data collected in space.
The aft payload is a propulsive ESPA named the USSF-12 Ring. The Ring is a classified mission to demonstrate future technology for the Department of Defense.” – via ulalaunch.com
Futramic’s launch photographer Chris Clark was ready at the Cape and able to provided these great highlights from the successful launch.