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SpaceX Launches MDA, SDA Missile Tracking Payloads to Orbit

Space-based threat


SpaceX Launches MDA, SDA Missile Tracking Payloads to Orbit

SpaceX launched the USSF-124 mission on Feb. 14, sending six missile-detecting satellites into orbit.

The mission’s payload includes two prototype satellites, one developed by L3Harris Technologies and the other developed by Northrop Grumman, for the Missile Defense Agency’s Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor program. The HBTSS program is designed to augment the existing overhead persistent infrared network of sensors, detect and track various kinds of missiles and hypersonic vehicles, identify satellite launches and maneuvers, and monitor static tests.

The four other satellites, developed by L3Harris, are part of the Space Development Agency’s Tranche 0 Tracking Layer. T0TKL comprises demonstration satellites to provide test data that the SDA needs for its space-based threat tracking, warning and targeting constellation.

USSF-124 is the 11th mission SpaceX launched under the National Security Space Launch program, SpaceNews reported.

Apart from the launch, the U.S. defense sector and its contractors are pushing to develop space-based threat-tracking capabilities.

In December, L3Harris announced that it completed design and production reviews for the SDA’s Tranche 1 Tracking Layer project, proving that current designs will fit mission needs. According to L3Harris, the completed reviews bring the SDA closer to developing its Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, a layered military satellite network enabling threat detection and data and information sharing.

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Category: Space

Tags: Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor Missile Defense Agency missile-detection satellites space Space Development Agency SpaceX Tranche 0 Tracking Layer USSF-124