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1ST SPACE OPERATIONS SQUADRON

Posted 8/22/2012 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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1st SOPS
1st Space Operations Squadron
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The 1st Space Operations Squadron is a component of the 50th Operations Group, 50th Space Wing, Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. The squadron was activated on Jan. 30, 1992.

It conducts space operations for two distinct missions: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Space Situational Awareness.

Mission
The 1st Space Operations Squadron operates and maintains command and control capability for Operationally Responsive Space-1, Space Based Space Surveillance and Advanced Technology Risk Reduction.

Mission crews conduct 24-hour operations supporting the three major functions of satellite control: telemetry, tracking and commanding for Air Force Spacce Command's only premier ISR and space based SSA assets. Orbital analysts and program engineers provide program-specific knowledge and support to those crews while operators perform all pre-contact planning, real time contact and post-contact actions.

The ORS-1 operations are conducted in the Multi-Mission Satellite Operations Center, a revolutionary approach to space operations. The operations center is focused on forging one-of-a-kind operations to demonstrate and field emerging space missions and satellite command and control technologies in a rapid, decisive manner, and it is the focal point for cutting edge technologies.

The operation center's first mission, TacSat-3, was transferred to 1 SOPS June 12, 2010 and retired from mission operations Feb. 17, 2012. TacSat-3, an ISR satellite, provided Hyperspectral Imagery in support of Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate and National Air and Space Intelligence Center. The satellite reentered the Earth's atmosphere April 30, 2012.

On June 29, 2011, MMSOC's second mission, ORS-1, launched from Wallops Island, Va., onboard the Minotaur I. It is the first ISR satellite dedicated to a specific combatant command: U.S. Central Command. ORS-1 provides optical and infrared imagery using sensors based on the U-2 Senior Year Electro-Optical Reconnaissance. In January 2012, ORS-1 gained early COCOM acceptance, a milestone that allowed MMSOC to bring this capability to the warfighter sooner than expected.

On Sept. 25, 2010, SBSS was launched from Vandenberg AFB onboard the Minotaur IV into a sun-synchronous orbit. It is the first space-based SSA sensor to be added to AFSPC's Space Surveillance Network. SBSS provides metric observations and Space Object Identification data on satellites operating in low-earth, semi-synchronous and geosynchronous orbits to the Joint Space Operations Center and NASIC.

ATRR launched from Vandenberg AFB May 5, 2009, onboard a Delta II delivery system. ATRR conducts SSA operations in support of the SSN. Satellite Control Authority was transferred to 1 SOPS Jan. 31, 2011, from the Missile Defense Agency. ATRR previously served as a pathfinder for next-generation sensor technology for future MDA space missions. It provides the JSpOC with geostationary belt surveillance for metric observations from a Low Earth Orbit.

History
The unit was originally activated Feb. 14, 1961, as the 1st Aerospace Control Squadron, which was in operation until April 1976. On Oct. 5, 1987, the squadron was reactivated, renamed the 1st Satellite Control Squadron, and began its ever-growing satellite control mission. On Feb. 16, 1988, the squadron began commanding the Defense Support Program constellation.

The Space Operations Center was operationally turned over to Air Force Space Command Dec. 21, 1989. The SOC increased its mission on Feb. 20, 1990, when the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program mission was operationally turned over. In May 1996, satellite command authority for the first research and development satellite controlled by AFSPC, Technology for Autonomous Operational Survivability, was given to 1 SOPS.

In December 1989, 1 SOPS assumed control of launch and early orbit operations for Global Positioning System including satellite activation, initial checkout and transfer to mission orbit. The last support to the GPS launch was done from 1 SOPS December 2007 before transitioning to the 2nd Space Operations Squadron.

On December 4, 1998, the squadron assumed command and control capability on the Midcourse Space Experiment. MSX became an operational program on October 1, 2000, with the first-ever transfer of operations from the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization to AFSPC. MSX was decommissioned in July 2008.

In May 2003, 1 SOPS assumed responsibility of conducting mission assurance telemetry for Department of Defense Boosters, the first mission assigned to MMSOC. This mission transitioned to the Space Test Squadron at Kirtland AFB in March 2009

(Current as of August 2012)







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