SSO-A Mission Prep at Auburn Integration Facility

SSO-A, with satellite mass simulators attached for testing.

We’re conducting tests this week for our 2018 SSO-A mission aboard a Falcon 9. Our new Auburn, WA Integration facility allows us to build the SSO-A stack to full height (nearly 20 feet!) while we run tests with mass simulators (structures of the same weight and size of the satellites to be launched) attached. Actual integration of customer satellites will occur in a clean room built on site. When integration is complete, the stack will be disassembled carefully in sections for shipment down to Vandenberg Air Force Base, where it will be reassembled at the launch site.

For today’s test, more than 200 accelerometers were placed around the assembly and results of the simulation were recorded.

Our team monitoring testing data in Auburn.

We were happy to have Glenn Farley of King 5 News in Seattle on hand to film a short segment about the mission and the Auburn facility.

Glenn talking with Jeff Roberts, Director, Launch Programs.
Mission Director Adam Hadaller, speaking to the King 5 News crew.

 

Preparations for the SSO-A mission have been running smoothly and according to schedule. We currently have 120 satellites for nearly 50 government and commercial customers from 16 countries manifested for this mission – a record-breaker! We’re looking forward to a great launch for our customers in 2018.

Check out the King 5 segment here!