Library Fact Sheets
SPACE DEVELOPMENT AND TEST DIRECTORATE|
Printable Fact Sheet
One team delivering the full spectrum of small, responsive space capabilities.
Be the most innovative and effective provider of small responsive space capabilities.
217-Person Government Organization, 160 Contract Support
The Space Development and Test Directorate provides operationally responsive space (ORS) capabilities to assure warfighter access to national space assets that enhance mission command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The directorate conducts and coordinates activities throughout the United States and around the world for Department of Defense and other scientific developmental payloads and/or complete satellites - including system development, test, evaluation, launch and on-orbit operations. In addition, SDTD provides academic institutions - like the Air Force Academy and Cornell University - free opportunities to conduct space experiments with foreign and domestic mission partners by accessing the space environment aboard resources like the Minotaur Rocket, Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS). SDTD's unique ability to rapidly field systems fulfills national small, responsive space requirements and continually demonstrates their proficiency as "masters of the calculated risk."
In July 1992, the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) consolidated four separate reporting space and missile research, developmental test and evaluation (RDT&E) organizations into the Space Experimentation Program Office - the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP), the DoD Space Test Program (STP), the Research and Development (R&D) Space and Missile Operations (RDSMO) program, and other system test and evaluation functions located at Vandenberg AFB. In June 1993, RDT&E activities at Los Angeles AFB, Onizuka AFS and San Bernardino relocated to Kirtland AFB alongside the Air Force Research Laboratory. In July 1995, the organization was renamed the Space and Missile Test and Evaluation Directorate, and later became SMC Detachment 12 on June 29, 2001 during SMC's realignment from Air Force Materiel Command to Air Force Space Command.
Space Test operates the RDT&E Support Complex (RSC) located at Kirtland AFB, and prepares for and conducts on-orbit operations of DoD and NASA R&D satellites, relays launch vehicle telemetry and provides Space Shuttle telemetry and backup command capability to NASA. The Space Test Operations Squadron consists of an on-orbit communications satellite test site, mobile telemetry systems, and the wing's space Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E) experts - performing space vehicle DT&E and supporting launch and on-orbit operations around the world. Launch Test employs retired Minuteman II and Peacekeeper rocket motors for government R&D space launches and missile defense test target vehicles - averaging 8 flight tests a year and maintaining a 100 percent success rate for the past 10 years.
Spacecraft Development provides space flight for STP payloads and develops, integrates, tests, and launches experimental technologies and prototype space systems. The Responsive Satellite Command & Control Division develops, integrates, tests, fields and maintains telemetry, tracking, and control systems, data processing and distribution systems, and operations support equipment for experimental and prototype spacecraft. The Responsive Space Squadron integrates, tests, launches, fields and supports operations of an ORS capability for the DoD. The Human Spaceflight Payloads Division provides spaceflight for DoD R&D experiments and prototype operational systems aboard human rated space-based platforms - such as the Space Shuttle and ISS - and also provides for integration, launch, and on-orbit operations of DoD operational and R&D satellites aboard the Space Shuttle and ISS. The Mission Design Division manages the DoD STP and supports SAF/USA with the Scientific Experiment Review Board process.