Bridge TSI instrument being launched on commercial Ball Aerospace satellite

Posted: June 19, 2013 by tchannon in Solar physics

Image courtesy Ball Aerospace. Final instrument integration into the satellite core. TIM will be near the rectangular plate at the top with LSAP engraved.


I decided to do a quick followup to see when the jury rigged TSI bridging satellite was going to be launched, “mid-2013” is vague.

Supplement to this Talkshop article

Press release Ball Aerospace Integrates Final Payload for STPSat-3, dated January 18, 2013

Colorado Space Coalition Ball Aerospace announces five payloads for STPSat-3 satellite

Spaceref broadly describes what is intended.

This TIM instrument was originally intended to fly as a space shuttle Hitchhiker payload as part of the University of Colorado, Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP’s) SORCE program. The TIM Hitchhiker instrument will measure the Sun’s net energy output or total solar irradiance (TSI), continuing a 35-year climate data record that is a key component in understanding the Earth climate system.

The 2013 flight provides a continuity of measurements between the currently flying NASA SORCE program launched in January 2003, and the Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS) mission that is now part of NOAA’s JPSS program. Along with TSIS, the JPSS program incorporates a broad set of critical weather and climate measurements, and includes the nation’s next state-of-the-art civil polar weather satellite, JPSS-1, also being built by Ball Aerospace in preparation for a 2017 launch.

Launch date

Oct. 30 Minotaur 1 • ORS 3
Launch time: TBD
Launch site: Pad 0B, Wallops Island, Va.

A U.S. Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket will launch the Operationally Responsive Space 3, or ORS 3, mission. ORS 3 will test space-based rocket tracking technology and an autonomous flight termination system. The rocket will also launch the STPSat 3 satellite, a host platform for several U.S. military experiments. Delayed from June and September. [May 24]

— Information provided by


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