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Near Field Infrared Experiment


Designation 31140 / 07014A
Launch date 24 Apr 2007
Country of origin United States
Mission Military (anti-satellite)
Perigee/Apogee 489/497 km
Inclination 48.2°
Launch vehicle Minotaur #7

Operated by MDA. Is designed to distinguish between a ballistic missile's fiery plume and the rocket itself. Was to carry a kill-vehicle, which was finaly replaced by the LCT.

The spacecraft is part of MDA's Kinetic Energy Boost-Phase research programme.
3 satellites are planned. Worth $65 million per satellite, without launch.

Primary payloads: an onboard Track Sensor Payload (TSP) and a TESAT Laser Communications Terminal (LCT), made by Tesat-Spacecom of Germany.
NFIRE will gather near-field, high-resolution phenomenology data that will assist in the development of boost-phase intercept systems.

To test the satellite, a Minotaur 2 rocket, TLV-7, was launched on 23 Aug 2007 from Vandenberg. The aim is the have the rocket pass close to NFire so that it observes it.

End of life

Out of service Aug 2015
Cause Decommissioned
Decay 4 Nov 2015

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Technical data


Prime contractor Spectrum Astro
Platform SA-200B
Mass at launch 494 kg
Dry mass 380 kg
Dimension 1.3 m diameter x 2.7 m long
Solar array  
DC power  
Design lifetime 2 years

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