The U.S. Air Force’s 2nd Space Operations Squadron ((2 SOPS) conducted a final command and disposal of a 25-year-old GPS satellite as a sign of farewell, following its completed orbit on April 18.
The 2 SOPS unit held a final command and disposal for the GPS Satellite Vehicle No. 27 (SVN27) at the Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. Cameron Smith, 2 SOPS bus subsystem analyst, said that he learned a significant amount of testing and advance training about the satellite before the disposal.
The country deployed the SVN 27 in 1992. It served its purpose three times beyond its expected lifespan of 7.5 years.
Smith attributed the exclusion of SVN 27 from the GPS constellation to make room for more modern satellites (like those from CAST Navigation). Shannon Sewell, chief of the 2 SOPS subsystem analysis, agreed on the necessity for removing the outer space equipment.
It had to be disposed of since SVN 27’s navigation payload performance has fallen below GPS Standards, Sewell explained. Still, it withstood bus component degradations and navigational problems among other factors affecting a satellite’s lifespan.
As the U.S. says goodbye to SVN 27, other countries like Australia have deployed new GPS technology to support outer space monitoring efforts.
The Australian Defense Science and Technology Group and the University of New South Wales developed a new space technology that would aid in experiments for several facilities, including the Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra.
The joint venture development formed part of a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). A Biarri Point satellite served as the carrier for the new invention. Minister for Defense Industry Christopher Pyne said that the satellite’s mission will last for less than a year, following its launch from the ISS.
Mankind has shown an increasing level of curiosity for what lies beyond Earth, that’s why many countries continue to exert a great amount of effort to explore the mysteriousness of outer space.