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.


 
 

 
NASA image

NASA’s newest Mars mission spacecraft enters orbit around red planet

NASA image This animation depicts NASAís Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft orbiting Mars. NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft successfully entered Mars’ orbit at 10:24 p...
 
 
nasa-mars-website

NASA launches new citizen science website

Opens challenge to participate in future Mars missions NASA announced Sept. 20 the opening of registration for its Mars Balance Mass Challenge and the launch of its new website, NASA Solve, at the World Maker Faire in New York....
 
 
NASA Television

NASA cargo launches to space station aboard SpaceX resupply mission

NASA Television A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon cargo spacecraft on top launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Stationís Space Launch Complex-40 in Florida at 1:52 a.m., EDT, Sept. 21, 2014. The Dragon is carrying more ...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully mates NOAA GOES-R satellite modules

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin successfully mated together the large system and propulsion modules of the first GOES-R series weather satellite at the companyís Space Systems facilities near Denver, Colo. A team of...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/GSFC

NASA Mars spacecraft ready for Sept. 21 orbit insertion

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft is nearing its scheduled Sept. 21 insertion into Martian orbit after completing a 10-month interplanetary journey of 442 million miles. Flight Controllers at Lockheed M...
 
 

Lockheed Martin-built CLIO satellite successfully launched

The U.S. government’s CLIO satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Lift-off occurred at 6:10 p.m., MDT, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle. Initial contact with the satellite was confirmed at 9:08 p.m., MDT. The CLIO system is based on innovative...
 




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>