Encyclopedia Astronautica
RS-300


American technology satellite bus, first launched 2007.03.09. Ball Aerospace's RS-300 was a small, low-cost spacecraft aimed at cost-capped principle investigator led missions for Earth or space science.

The low-risk spacecraft bus offered high performance in Earth or stellar pointing knowledge and control; data storage and transmission rates; available power; and payload mass fraction and volume. It was intended to fit on a Pegasus launch vehicle. The RS-300 design included Advanced Spacecraft Electronics (ASPEN) flight avionics developed for the Deep Impact comet impactor for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The spacecraft also featured National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) standard radio, and command and control data formats and interfaces to simplify operations and ground segment interfaces. The RS-300 provided 3-axis fine control and large, clear instrument fields of view. Its industry standard, single-board computer and non-volatile memory were complemented by custom electronics for communications interfaces, thermal control, sensor and actuator interfaces, and power control - all on a standard high speed backplane.

RS-300 avionics and software formed the core of the Orbital Express Advanced Technology Demonstration program, and the Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

Gross mass: 150 kg (330 lb).
First Launch: 2007.03.09.
Last Launch: 2009.12.14.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Atlas V The Atlas V launch vehicle system was a completely new design that succeeded the earlier Atlas series. Atlas V vehicles were based on the 3.8-m (12.5-ft) diameter Common Core Booster (CCB) powered by a single Russian RD-180 engine. These could be clustered together, and complemented by a Centaur upper stage, and up to five solid rocket boosters, to achieve a wide range of performance. More...
  • Delta The Delta launch vehicle was America's longest-lived, most reliable, and lowest-cost space launch vehicle. Development began in 1955 and it continued in service in the 21st Century despite numerous candidate replacements. More...
  • Pegasus Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Pegasus American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Privately-funded, air-launched winged light satellite launcher. More...
  • Pegasus XL American air-launched orbital launch vehicle. Uprated version of Pegasus air-launched winged light satellite launcher. 4 stage vehicle consisting of 1 x L-1011 + 1 x Pegasus XL stage 1 + 1 x Orion 50XL + 1 x Orion 38. More...
  • Delta 7320-10 American orbital launch vehicle. Three stage vehicle consisting of 3 x GEM-40 + 1 x EELT Thor/RS-27A + 1 x Delta K More...
  • Atlas V American orbital launch vehicle. The Atlas V launch vehicle system was a completely new design that succeeded the earlier Atlas series. Atlas V vehicles were based on the 3.8-m (12.5-ft) diameter Common Core Booster (CCB) powered by a single Russian RD-180 engine. These could be clustered together, and complemented by a Centaur upper stage, and up to five solid rocket boosters, to achieve a wide range of performance. More...
  • Atlas V 401 American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas V version with a 4-m diameter payload fairing, single engine Centaur upper stage, and no strap-on solid boosters. Payloads: 7,095 kg (15,642 lb) to sun synchronous orbit; 4,950 kg (10,910 lb) to geosynchronous transfer orbit. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Ball American manufacturer of spacecraft. Ball Aerospace and Technology, Boulder, Colorado, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Vandenberg Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on the Central Coast of California about 240 km northwest of Los Angeles. It is used for launches of unmanned government and commercial satellites into polar orbit and intercontinental ballistic missile test launches toward the Kwajalein Atoll. More...
  • Point Arguello WADZ Air-launched rocket drop zone known to have been used for 28 launches from 1990 to 2007, reaching up to 4539 kilometers altitude. More...
  • Vandenberg SLC2W Delta launch complex. Originally a Thor 75 SMS launch pad. Upgraded to a space launch complex in 1966. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC41 Titan, Atlas V launch complex. Complexes 40 and 41 were constructed as part of the Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) Titan launch facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Over the next three decades, the complexes supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV. Complex 41 was deactivated at the end of 1977, then upgraded for the Titan IV program in the 1986-88 period. In October 1999, Complex 41 was demolished with high explosives in order for a new pad for launch of the Atlas 5 rocket to be erected. By then it had been the starting point for 27 Titan flights. More...

RS-300 Chronology


2007 March 9 - . 03:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. Launch Pad: SLC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 401. LV Configuration: Atlas V 401 AV-013.
  • NextSat - . Mass: 250 kg (550 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: DARPA. Manufacturer: Ball. Class: Technology. Type: Rendezvous technology satellite. Spacecraft: RS-300. USAF Sat Cat: 30774 . COSPAR: 2007-006C. Apogee: 498 km (309 mi). Perigee: 491 km (305 mi). Inclination: 46.0000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Summary: The passive satellite portion of DARPA's Orbital Express satellite servicing experiment. NextSat carried hydrazine for fluid transfer experiments, but no propulsion system. Attitude was controlled by momentum wheels supplemented by magnetic torquer rods..

2007 April 25 - . 20:26 GMT - . Launch Site: Point Arguello WADZ. Launch Pad: 36.0 N x 123.0 W. LV Family: Pegasus. Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL. LV Configuration: Pegasus XL F38.
  • AIM - . Mass: 150 kg (330 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA; Hampton. Manufacturer: OSC; Ball. Spacecraft: RS-300. USAF Sat Cat: 31304 . COSPAR: 2007-015A. Apogee: 602 km (374 mi). Perigee: 584 km (362 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 96.50 min. Summary: NASA Small Explorer mission, for Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere. AIM carried three scientific instruments to study polar mesospheric clouds: a solar occultation camera, an ultraviolet imager, and a cosmic dust experiment..

2009 December 14 - . 14:09 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC2W. LV Family: Delta. Launch Vehicle: Delta 7320-10. LV Configuration: Delta 7320-10 s/n D347.
  • WISE - . Mass: 674 kg (1,485 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Spacecraft: RS-300. USAF Sat Cat: 36119 . COSPAR: 2009-071A. Apogee: 532 km (330 mi). Perigee: 527 km (327 mi). Inclination: 97.5000 deg. Period: 95.20 min. Wide Field Infrared Explorer astronomy satellite, designed to conduct an all-sky survey at infrared frequencies of 3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 microns, detecting objects 100 times fainter than the earlier IRAS and Akari satellites. Primary instrument is a 40 cm telescope cooled to 12 K by a cryostat filled with solid hydrogen. The survey was expected to detect tens of thousands of new asteroids, brown dwarf stars, and planets orbiting nearby stars.

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