Orbital Test Bed satellite from General Atomics arrives at Cape Canaveral to prep for Falcon Heavy flight

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida. The General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Orbital Test Bed (OTB) satellite has arrived at Kennedy Space Center so it can complete launch preparations in anticipation of launching the spacecraft as part of the U.S. Air Force’s Space Technology Program 2 (STP-2) flight on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

OTB satellites host multiple payloads on a single platform for on-orbit technology demonstration.

Among the payloads scheduled for launch on Falcon Heavy is NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Deep Space Atomic Clock, designed and built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; a Modular Solar Array developed for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL); an Integrated Miniaturized Electrostatic Analyzer sensor payload developed by cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy; the RadMon next generation radiation effects monitor; FlexRX programmable satellite receiver; and Celestis cremains.

Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS, said of the preparations: “The arrival of the OTB spacecraft at Cape Canaveral marks the start of final preparations and integration on board the Falcon Heavy in anticipation of the launch, bringing our hosted payload customers that much closer to executing their missions. This will be our first OTB satellite launch, and we are extremely excited to be delivering new technology demonstrations into orbit that will help drive future space exploration.”