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STSS Demonstrator Mission

Tyneside, UK
2019 Jan 19
Saturday, Day 19

Maintained by:

Sensor Tests:


Press Release - mentions "Emerging Technologies"
2011 Oct 5 - BMDA Missile Interception Test

The Missile Defense Agency organised the launch of two missiles against two targets in a test area near Hawaii. The STSS Demonstrator satellites were in attendance.

The Event

The BMDA gave the event time as 2011 Oct 5 at 01:56 EST (05:56 UTC). No other details were forthcoming about it other than that "...THAAD system engaged and simultaneously intercepted one short-range and one medium-range class ballistic missile target".

STSS Demonstrator Involvement

At the announced test start time, USA 209 (STSS Demonstrator 2) was about as close to Hawaii as it could be on that particular pass. Hawaii was near the horizon from the satellite's point of view so the test targets would have been seen rising initially against the Earth backgound and then against the background of space. The interceptors would have followed shortly after.

USA 208 (STSS Demonstrator 1), as usual was following along and passed by as the test went on. Most, if not all, of the test, (which probably took no more than 10 minutes depending on the split between the targets' launch times) would have been in view of both satellites simultaneously. Their stereo observing ability could have been used.

Oct 5 Missile Test

The map, produced using Sebastian Stoff's "Orbitron" satellite tracking computer program, shows the scenaio at 05:56 UTC, the announced start time of the test. The cyan-cloured ring shows the horizon as seen from USA 209's location. Hawaii is just in view to the south west. STSS Demonstrator 1 followed very-closely the same track as its leader about 35 degrees (around ten minutes in time) behind. As the test progressed, both satellites passed eastwards across the north Pacific towards the North American mainland.
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