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STEP 0 (TAOS, P90-5)


STEP 0 (Space Test Experiment Platform 0) carried the TAOS (Technology for Autonomous Operational Satellite) payload, which was built by the Air Force Phillips Laboratories. It was flown aboard a Space Test Experiment Platform (STEP) designed to meet Air Force needs for a standardized space vehicle tailored to host Space Test Program experiments. These advanced research and development experiments were generally small, relatively fast-turnaround, and best suited to modestly sized vehicles. This mission demonstrated STEP's ability to accommodate larger payloads as well. It demonstrated autonomous satellite navigation, a standardized space data bus, advanced radiation hardened processors, and laser and radar sensors.

The flight configuration for the TAOS mission consisted of TRW's standard core module housing electronics and housekeeping systems; a propulsion system / adapter module; the payload module; and a deployment module that hosted several TAOS experiments on an exposed honeycomb plate. Two articulated solar panels were stowed around the satellite at launch.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Experimental
Operator: USAF STP (Space Test Program)
Contractors: TRW, CTA → Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) (Bus)
Equipment: 10 TAOS experiments
Configuration: LEOStar
Propulsion: 2 × 147 kN thrusters + 4 × 4.45 kN thrusters
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 503 kg
Orbit: 539 km × 560 km, 105
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
STEP 0 (TAOS, USA 101, P90-5) 1994-017A 13.03.1994 Va 576E Taurus-1110 with DARPASAT
Further STP missions: