Monday, January 28, 2008

TacSat-2 Signing Off

The USAF is shutting down its pioneering TacSat-2 technology demonstration spacecraft after over a year on orbit, in a mission marked by technical success contrasted with infighting reported by Space News between the USAF and intelligence communities that limited use of its imaging capability (the kind of thing that people should work out BEFORE launching a satellite). The compact intelligence spacecraft demonstrated new technologies and techniques for getting information to combat forces. The 370-kg, $50M spacecraft is hardly a low-cost microsatellite by most definitions, but it is significantly smaller and cheaper than previous American military spacecraft with similar functions, and its success bodes well for continued progress in the military applications of smaller spacecraft.

No comments: