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Cadets brief senior AFSPC, AFRL officials on FalconSAT-5 status

Cadets and contractors prepare FalconSAT-5 for a battery of environmental tests at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 12, 2009, prior to declaring the satellite spaceflight-worthy. Cadets briefed senior officials from the AFRL and Air Force Space Command on the status of FalconSAT-5 as well as FalconSAT-3, which has been on orbit since March 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Cadets and contractors prepare FalconSAT-5 for a battery of environmental tests at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 12, 2009, prior to declaring the satellite spaceflight-worthy. Cadets briefed senior officials from the AFRL and Air Force Space Command on the status of FalconSAT-5 as well as FalconSAT-3, which has been on orbit since March 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Air Force Academy cadets briefed the results Dec. 9 of tests conducted on the newest satellite, FalconSAT-5, as well as the current program status for FalconSAT-3 and their next design, FalconSAT-6.

Senior officers from the Defense Department's Space Test Program, the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Air Force Space Command at Peterson AFB, Colo., several Academy departments and supporting contractors attended the cadets' presentation.

The cadets, part of the Academy's small satellite program, successfully tested FalconSAT-5 at Kirtland AFB in November, completing a major milestones in preparing for a scheduled launch from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska May 28, 2010. FalconSAT-5 will be one of four experimental satellites to launch aboard an Orbital Sciences Minotaur IV launch vehicle.

Teams of cadets and faculty ran the satellite through a series of environmental tests, including vibration, center of gravity, moment of inertia and thermal vacuum testing, and deemed the satellite spaceflight-worthy. Supporting them were the Space and Missile Center's Space Development Group, which oversees the Space Test Program, and the AFRL's Space Vehicles Directorate.

The cadets also briefed plans for additional operational testing of FalconSAT-5 that will be conducted in January 2010 at Edwards AFB, Calif.