The United States Army launched its first satellite in over 50 years this morning at 10:43 am. ET. The purpose of this flight is to be able to launch transmit information for space to a ground transmitter. If this launch, and procedure is successful then the Army will be able to build, and deploy other satellites just like it. The primary payload for this flight is the SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft.
The first U.S. Army nanosatellite lifted off of Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, Fla., today at 10:43 a.m. Eastern. This is the launch of the first U.S. Army-built satellite in more than 50 years. U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command is the Army lead for the SMDC-ONE nanosatellite program.
The Space and Missile Defense Command – Operational Nanosatellite Effect, or SMDC-ONE, launched on a Falcon 9 two-stage booster, a Space Exploration Technologies, Inc, or SpaceX, launch vehicle as a secondary payload. The primary payload for this flight is the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.
The primary objective of this maiden flight is to receive data from a ground transmitter and relay that data to a ground station. The intent of this technology demonstration is to build a number of identical satellites and deploy them together into Low Earth Orbit to simulate enhanced tactical communications capability and evaluate nanosat performance.
Approximately 45 minutes after launch, SMDC-ONE deployed from the Falcon 9 trunk unit located in the second stage of the rocket and was placed into a low earth orbit.