STPSat-3 Media Kit


STPSat-3 Mission:  Launched from Wallops Flight Center Va., on Nov. 19, 2013 – three years to the day since STPSat-2 launched from Kodiak, Alaska.

STPSat-3 is the primary satellite for the U.S. Air Force Operationally Responsive Space (ORS)-3 enabler mission. STPSat-3 was launched along with numerous28 CubeSats as part of the ORS-3 mission. The ORS-3 enabler mission is demonstrating, testing and verifying rapid response spacecraft technologies to decrease launch timelines and reduce mission costs.

Ball Aerospace is the prime contractor for the U.S. Air Force Space Test Program’s Standard Interface Vehicle (STP-SIV) mission. The program has developed a common spacecraft bus with a standard payload interface to accelerate Department of Defense (DoD) space technology and ensure future U.S. space superiority. The Ball-built STPSat-3 spacecraft was completed in 47 days. By providing such a vehicle, the Space Test Program can shorten acquisition timelines and decrease spacecraft build costs for its defense industry customers.

Ball Aerospace was responsible for the overall system including the spacecraft and standard payload interface design and build, payload integration, space vehicle environmental testing, and launch and mission support.

The STP-SIV series of satellites, based on the Ball Configurable Platform (BCP), is ideal for a variety of science, technology development and risk reduction missions.

Additional photos available on Flickr.

Michael Hackman

Michael Hackman

Ball Program Manager

Michael Hackman is the Ball Aerospace STPSat-3 program manager, responsible for initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing all aspects of the program. His role includes project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications, risk, and procurement management. He also oversees the performance of a highly skilled team and Ball’s interactions with the customer, company management, and other stake holders.

Read Profile


BCP-100 Fast Facts

  • Spacecraft is approximately 24” x 28” x 28” high and weighs less than 110kg
  • Accommodates multiple separate instruments 
  • STPSat-3 caries five payloads plus a de-orbit module
  • Operates in any low earth orbit from 400 and 850 km altitude
  • Remains easily adaptable for future missions – no design changes necessary for payloads that conform to the standard interface
  • Maintains flexibility to launch on a large variety of vehicles, including the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter




STPSat-3 Payloads

  • iMESA-R (Integrated Miniaturized Electrostatic Analyzer Reflight), a U.S. Air Force Academy mission designed to measure plasma densities and energies
  • J-CORE (Joint Component Research), a space phenomenology mission sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) /EO Countermeasures Technology Branch (RYMW) & Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC)
  • SSU (Strip Sensor Unit), an AFRL Directed Energy (RD) experiment to provide risk reduction through on-orbit testing and operation of a sensor assembly
  • SWATS (Small Wind and Temperature Spectrometer), a Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) mission to provide in-situ measurements of the neutral and plasma environment to characterize the Earth’s ionosphere and thermosphere
  • TCTE (TSI Calibration Transfer Experiment) , a NASA/NOAA mission to collect high accuracy, high precision measurements of Total Solar Irradiance to monitor changes in solar irradiance incident at the top the Earth’s atmosphere with TCTE instrument provided by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics







EPOXI/Deep Impact





Green Propellant Infusion Mission


Hubble Space Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope


F-35/Lightning II


Operational Land Imager

New Horizons/Ralph



Replicated Diffractive Optics/MOIRE









Suomi NPP



WorldView spacecraft series