Space

August 14, 2013

Lockheed Martin selects CubeSat integrators for Athena to enhance launch systems integration

LM-cubesat
Lockheed Martin has chosen three world-class companies to provide CubeSat integration for Athena launch services. Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems LLC of Irvine, Calif., TriSept Corporation of Chantilly, Va., and Spaceflight, Inc. of Tukwila, Wash. will provide turnkey CubeSat integration services for multi-payload and RideShare missions using Athena launch services beginning in 2015.

We are very pleased to offer this significant enhancement for CubeSat customers using Athena launch services that leverage the proven expertise of these three companies to provide comprehensive, affordable, one-stop integration and launch services to customers worldwide,î said Robert R. Cleave, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. ìWorking together, we are providing customers with efficient and affordable payload integration bundled with the launch service for the expanding range of CubeSat missions.

CubeSats are cube-shaped satellites built to standard dimensions called Units or ìU,î measuring 10x10x11 cm (approximately 4 inches), and weighing less than 1.33 kg (3 lbs) per Unit. They can range from one to six Units in size. Athena deploys CubeSats in the 3U configuration using a standard Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD). Initially developed in 1999 with dozens currently in orbit, CubeSats are enabling many mission planners to re-think what can be done with miniature spacecraft. CubeSats are quickly migrating from being used by universities as projects for training future engineers and scientists to supporting a variety of space missions for government, commercial and civil customers worldwide, but with significantly reduced mission costs.

Athena can boost payloads ranging from 280 kg (615 lbs) to up to 5,900 kg (13,000 lbs) utilizing launch sites at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. and Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska. Using ATKís flight-proven CASTOR 120Æ for Stage I and Stage II, the modernized launch vehicles feature a newly developed and flight proven CASTORÆ 30 for the upper stage, and Lockheed Martinís modernized electronic systems. Both solid rocket motors are in production and are used on other launch vehicles. Athenaís standard Orbit Adjust Module capability can perform multiple precise deliveries of CubeSats to unique orbital parameters, the initial phasing for constellation deployments, as well as deploying CubeSats in large or small groups. In addition, Athena RideShare missions planned for 2015 and 2016 from Kodiak Launch Complex can accommodate 24 P-PODs or a mix of 3U, 6U and 12U CubeSat containerized payloads, vastly expanding launch opportunities for these very small satellites to sun synchronous orbits.

For CubeSat integration services on Athena missions, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems LLC will provide engineering analysis, payload certification and final integration with the launch vehicle. TriSept Corporation will provide integrated CubeSat services contracts, including engineering analysis, payload certification and final integration to the launch vehicle. Spaceflight, Inc. will provide integrated CubeSat services contracts, including engineering analysis, payload certification and final integration to the launch vehicle.




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