Space

March 28, 2014

Orbital beings production of 81 satellites

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the worldís leading space technology companies, announced March 27 that it has started production of 81 satellites for the Iridium NEXT program as part of a contract between Orbital and Iridiumís prime contractor, French-Italian aerospace company Thales Alenia Space.

Orbital will complete the assembly, integration, test and launch support phases for this second-generation global communications satellite constellation at its satellite manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Ariz.

The commencement of production also signifies the opening of a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) at the Gilbert facility, which allows Orbital to reduce program costs by importing foreign-sourced hardware from Thales Alenia Space.

Ten years ago, this factory was created with large scale production in mind, said Jason Yocum, Orbitalís Senior Program Director for the Iridium NEXT production program. Today, at the Gilbert facility, we produce cutting-edge satellites that are executed with the highest degree of excellence and professionalism. As always, we appreciate the support we have received from the Town of Gilbert as we begin to use this unique facility for its intended purpose ñ as an international high-rate satellite production factory.

Orbital worked closely with the Town of Gilbert to develop the new FTZ, enabling the company to develop a highly efficient satellite production line. Orbital will integrate a total of 81 satellites for the constellation, including 66 low-Earth orbit operational satellites, six in-orbit spares, and nine ground-backup spacecraft, over the next three years. Orbitalís responsibilities also include ground support equipment, primary and hosted payload integration, shipment and launch integration services.

We thank Orbital for their partnership and cooperation in creating Gilbertís first Foreign Trade Zone, said John Lewis, Mayor of Gilbert, Ariz. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to prepare for a project of this magnitude and we are excited for this international effort to be happening here in Gilbert.

Scheduled to begin launching in 2015, Iridium NEXT will fully replace Iridiumís current satellite constellation of 66 cross-linked low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that cover 100 percent of the globe. It will dramatically enhance Iridiumís ability to meet the rapidly-expanding demand for truly global mobile communications on land, at sea and in the skies.

Over the past three years, our teams have been working diligently to produce the best-designed satellite and to validate that design in preparation for production, said Scott Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Iridium Communications Inc. Team members from all over the world have been working together to challenge the processes, build hardware for validation testing and work to make this process as efficient as possible. All of this hard work has paid off and we look forward to a steady production of high quality satellites for our new network from this facility.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>