Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced that it has been selected to develop designs, processes and business terms for carrying small science and technology missions to space on its geostationary satellite platform.
Under phase two of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Phoenix program, SSL intends to detail the design and implementation processes for affordable delivery of small spacecraft beyond Low Earth Orbit. The goal of the revolutionary Phoenix program is to enable cost-effective repurposing of serviceable space hardware that is already on orbit. The capability that SSL is developing for Phoenix is also expected to enable other future operational, science and technology space missions.
“The innovative Phoenix program is paving the way for more affordable 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 missions, enabled by frequent access to space on the SSL 1300 platform.”
SSL regularly works with a broad range of commercial satellite operators and has experience putting small government missions onto commercial spacecraft in order to reduce costs for both parties. SSL intends to work with both its commercial customers and DARPA to facilitate this type of arrangement for the implementation of the Phoenix program.