1st Air and Space Test Squadron

1st Air and Space Test Squadron (1 ASTS) is part of the 30th Space Wing (30 SW), within the 30th Launch Group (30 LCG). The squadron is located at Vandenberg AFB, CA, and deploys globally to meet operational and test and evaluation (T&E) requirements.

Mission: "Provide program management, systems engineering and test and evaluation expertise for emerging orbital and sub-orbital launch and recovery missions."

Vision: "Technical leaders poised to advance research and testing for innovative spaceport operations."

Heritage: 1 ASTS has more than 30 years experience with both missile systems and space vehicles. Having roots in numerous test and operational organizations, including the 6595th Missile Test Group, Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Test Integration and Launch Division, SMC Detachment 9, as well as the 30th Launch Group, 1 ASTS has become the only full-service Air Force organization capable of processing, testing, launching, and recovering a wide variety of air and space vehicles and payloads from multiple locations, to include Vandenberg AFB, California; Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia; and Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska.

Personnel: 1 ASTS supports programs with reliable, affordable, and timely access to and from space. This requires a talented group of operations, engineering, acquisitions and maintenance professionals working together with industry mission partners to form an integrated team. This blend of expertise provides a solid foundation enabling support to current and emerging programs across a diverse customer base.


Mission Areas:

· Experimental Launch Technologies and Capabilities
1 ASTS provides T&E and systems engineering services for the development of new space and missile systems from the technology demonstration phase through operational test and evaluation. The unit also supports technology transition of developmental space and missile capabilities into operations. Current programs include:

X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Recovery
The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office's Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), the X-37B, is an unmanned space plane used to demonstrate reusable spacecraft technologies and for operating space-based experiments returned to and examined on Earth. 1 ASTS provides trained personnel to support and augment contractors with landing and recovery operations.

SWORDS Launcher
The Soldier-Warfighter Operational Responsive Deployer for Space (SWORDS) program is a Joint Capabilities Technology Demonstration (JCTD) aimed at using non-aerospace commercial-grade materials and components to build and integrate a low cost, responsive space launch vehicle for nanosatellites. 1 ASTS supports this US Pacific Command sponsored JCTD as the independent assessor of the military utility as well as technical and launch operations advisor.


· Routine and Responsive Small Spacelift
1 ASTS performs on-site operations management and control, mission assurance and integration, technical assistance, and resource protection and sustainment for small spacelift systems which have not achieved fully operational status. These programs can support a single experiment or instances where Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)-class systems may not be the most efficient vehicle to support the payload.

Orbital and Suborbital Program-Iteration 3 (OSP-3)
The OSP-3 contract provides the government flight worthy launch systems and flexible launch services meeting orbital and suborbital payload delivery requirements. The program, managed by SMC Launch Systems Division, consists of two payload classes: light and medium. Lockheed Martin, Orbital Sciences and Space Exploration Technologies are eligible to compete with a launch manifest expected through 2017.


· New Entrant Certification
1 ASTS conducts launch site certification activities on behalf of SMC Launch and Range Systems Directorate to verify and validate potential New Entrant commercial companies are able to provide launch services for Department of Defense National Security Space missions on EELV-class launch vehicles.