Space

July 18, 2014

SSL selected to study asteroid retrieval for NASA

Space Systems/Loral, a leading provider of commercial satellites, announced July 18 that it was one of the companies selected by NASA to study system concepts and key technologies for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, which is expected to be a key part of the agency’s path to sending humans to Mars.

SSL will conduct two studies; one that examines using MDA robotic technology for asteroid capture, and one that examines adapting commercial spacecraft for the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle.

“SSL is committed to helping NASA leverage the value of commercial partnerships,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “The Asteroid Redirect Mission is an excellent example of how we can bring together SSL’s commercial bus and MDA robotics technology in support of NASA programs.”
SSL and MDA will work together with Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation on the “Autonomous Boulder Liberation Equipment” study. The companies will collaborate to demonstrate the robotic placement and handling of excavation and capture tools to remove a boulder from the surface of an asteroid.

Honeybee has more than two decades of experience developing planetary sampling and processing systems. Its work is highly complementary to MDA robotics, which are in current use on the International Space Station and on the Mars Rovers.

“Under SSL’s leadership, we have an exceptional team of experts to plan out the boulder liberation mission,” said Stephen Gorevan, chairman and co-founder of Honeybee Robotics.
“This is a great opportunity for Honeybee to apply our heritage of planetary sampling technology with a strong partner in the industry. We’re excited to be working with SSL to support NASA’s mission and contribute to future human planetary exploration.”

For the “Asteroid Redirect Vehicle” study, SSL will examine how to adapt commercial spacecraft and will define system concepts that leverage SSL’s commercial bus, the SSL 1300. With 74 commercial satellites based on this platform currently in geostationary orbit, it provides a very cost-effective and well-proven design that can be adapted to a variety of applications.

SSL has already proven its capability to leverage its commercial platform in support of NASA initiatives with the propulsion system for NASA’s recent Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, which successfully completed its mission earlier this year.

In a statement released last month, James Reuther, deputy associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington said: “By investing in these studies, NASA will gain valuable insight into affordable ways to perform the Asteroid Redirect Mission while also advancing technologies needed to drive future exploration missions.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 31, 2015

News: Carter: Military leaders could arm more troops at home – Following the recent fatal shooting of four Marines and a sailor in Tennessee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is ordering the military services to consider new policies that would enhance security for troops at home, including potentially arming more personnel.   Business: DOD weighs supplier base,...
 
 

News Briefs July 31, 2015

U.S. delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package. It says in a July 30 statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Lockheed Martin successfully tests design changes for Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system

Lockheed Martin photograph A protective panel for Orion’s service module is jettisoned during testing at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California facility. This test series evaluated design changes to the spacecraft’s fair...
 

 

Australian company to provide parts for initial production of Triton UAS

Northrop Grumman has awarded the first Australian supplier contract for the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system initial production lot to Ferra Engineering. Brisbane-based Ferra Engineering will manufacture mechanical sub-assemblies for the first four Triton air vehicles including structural components. “At Northrop Grumman it’s very important to not only develop...
 
 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Insitu awarded LRIP Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack Systems contract

Under the terms of its latest contract, Insitu will build six RQ-21A Blackjack systems for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The $78-million Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems Lot IV Low Rate Initial Production contract is the latest event in the program’s progression toward the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation phase.   “This award will...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>