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August 18, 2009—The launch of the first space based infrared satellite, GEO-1, may slip again, this time beyond 2010. When we inquired about this, the SBIRS Wing at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., a unit of the Space and Missile Systems Center, offered no specific timelines, but did tell the Daily Report that there are two issues affecting GEO-1’s delivery schedule—and its subsequent launch.

We asked because a release earlier this month on the successful completion of a flight software subsystem for GEO-1 noted that the satellite was scheduled for “a spring 2011 delivery.”

This spring, Air Force Space Command boss, Gen. Robert Kehler, expressed "medium to high" confidence in meeting the 2010 launch date.

As to the two issues still unresolved, the SBIRS wing said that the first has to do with the spacecraft’s common gyro reference assembly. During testing, this component “stopped communicating with the satellite,” the wing said, due to “multiple soldering anomalies” on the assembly.

The second issue occurred when a de-mate operation was made with battery power still applied to the spacecraft after a successful test, causing “an arcing event” that cleared a fuse in the power switching distribution unit, the wing said.

Root causes and their impacts for both issues are still being investigated, the wing said. 

(More on SBIRS: The Air Force recently let a contract with Lockheed Martin for GEO-3.)