Payload teams are able to design payloads and specific experiments to be compatible with the flexible standardized vehicle, resulting in lower spacecraft non-recurring costs and increased spaceflight opportunities. By providing such a vehicle, the Space Test Program can shorten acquisition timelines and decrease spacecraft build costs for its defense industry customers.
The first STP-SIV spacecraft, STPSat-2 launched Nov. 19, 2010 aboard a Minotaur IV from Kodiak, Ala. The satellite is carrying a relay transponder for data collected by ocean buoys and a space phenomenology sensor. STPSat-3, the second STP-SIV spacecraft, carried five payloads and was successfully launched Nov. 19, 2013 on a Minotaur I from Wallops Island, Va.