SSL Awarded Contract for Innovative, Affordable Access to Space
Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced that it was selected by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to integrate the flight hardware for a new capability designed to carry small science and technology missions to space on its geostationary (GEO) satellite platform.
SSL plans to support completing the design and integration of the first Payload Orbital Delivery system (PODs) accommodation on the SSL 1300 platform—which would enable affordable delivery of small free-flying spacecraft beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for future servicing, operational, science and technology space missions.
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“The innovative PODs platform is paving the way for more affordable, frequent and sustainable access to space,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “DARPA’s vision and commitment to this capability could open the door to many other small satellite and in-orbit servicing missions, enabled by frequent access to space on the SSL 1300 and other GEO based platforms.”
SSL regularly works with a broad range of commercial satellite operators and has experience putting small government payloads and missions onto commercial spacecraft in order to reduce costs for both parties. SSL intends to work with both its commercial customers and Government agencies to facilitate this type of arrangement for the first implementation of the PODs platform and for other future missions.
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Source : Space Systems/Loral