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General Dynamics-Built Missile Defense Agency Satellite is Successfully Launched into Orbit


FAIRFAX, Va. –The Near Field Infrared Experiment (NFIRE), built by General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), was successfully launched into low earth orbit today from the NASA facility at Wallops Island, Va.

The mission of the Missile Defense Agency’s NFIRE is to collect scientific data that will be used to help with the development of future missile defense technology efforts. The primary Track Sensor Payload will collect images of the exhaust plume from two rockets to be launched later this year from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The secondary payload is a laser communications terminal, built by Tesat-Spacecom of Germany, that will be used to evaluate the utility of laser communications as part of a U.S./Germany cooperative for scientific activity.

General Dynamics is the system integrator for the NFIRE mission, responsible for the design and manufacture of the spacecraft, payload integration, full satellite system testing, configuration of the mission operation centers and one year of on-orbit operations support.

“General Dynamics is a leader in space-based applications for missile defense and we’re committed to supporting the Missile Defense Agency,” said David Shingledecker, vice president and general manager of integrated space systems for General Dynamics. “Our highly successful mission-assurance track record of providing low-cost, reliable and high-performance spacecraft continues with NFIRE.”


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