Science & Technology

Systima’s pyrovalves make their debut with Atlas 5 launch of NROL-52 spy satellite

After greater than per week of delays, the Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace was glad to see its newest spy satellite go into orbit on Sunday — and so was Kirkland, Wash.-based Systima Technologies.

When a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launched the NROL-52 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Pressure Station in Florida, Systima’s pyrotechnic valves performed a mission-critical position as half of the response management system on the rocket’s Centaur higher stage.

“This marks the primary flight of Systima’s pyrovalves, RCS {hardware}, in addition to the primary time Systima has supported an Atlas 5 launch,” Taylor Banks, Systima’s controller and contracts supervisor, informed GeekWire in an e mail. “Systima is thrilled to be half of the ULA crew and wish to congratulate all that supported the profitable mission.”

The pyrovalves went by means of a one-time firing throughout ascent to activate the response management system. You may hear ULA launch commentator Marty Malinowski calling out that “RCS pyrovalve has been fired … signatures look good” on the 29:30 mark on this YouTube video of the launch:

The NROL-52 launch had been delayed a number of occasions, resulting from climate issues in addition to a balky telemetry transmitter that had to get replaced.

The Nationwide Reconnaissance Workplace didn’t focus on the exact nature of the payload, however it’s usually assumed to be a data relay satellite for surveillance imagery.

“By no means earlier than has innovation been extra necessary for conserving us forward of the sport,” Air Pressure Col. Matthew Skeen, director of the NRO Workplace of Area Launch, stated in a (*5*)issued after liftoff. “Because the eagle soars, so will the superior capabilities this payload offers to our nationwide safety. Kudos to all the crew for a job properly carried out.”

NROL-52 was the fourth of 5 NRO launches deliberate this 12 months. The following one is because of blast off in December from Vandenberg Air Pressure Base in California.

Systima Applied sciences manufactures a spread of energetic parts and built-in methods supporting the protection, house and industrial markets. One of its high-profile initiatives is the fabrication of a ring-shaped joint assembly for a stage adapter on NASA’s heavy-lift Area Launch System rocket.

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