Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), a subsidiary of Loral Space and Communications (Nasdaq:LORL) and the leading provider of commercial satellites, has announced that it has been selected to provide a propulsion system to NASA Ames Research Center for the Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft.
The contract demonstrates NASA’s success in leveraging the capability of commercially proven technology for U.S. Government missions.
“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with our neighbor, NASA Ames, and to help the U.S. Government leverage the extensive heritage and mission capability of technologies developed for commercial satellites,” said John Celli, president of Space Systems/Loral.
“NASA Ames has designed a very versatile spacecraft platform for unmanned space exploration and our propulsion system is available as a long-term solution for these important scientific missions.”
NASA’s LADEE spacecraft is a small observatory that will study the moon’s thin atmosphere and dust above the lunar surface.
The LADEE propulsion system will be a variant of the mission critical system used over many years on SS/L’s geostationary satellites for television, radio, broadband internet, meteorology and a host of other services. Currently there are 59 SS/L-built satellites orbiting Earth, and the company has logged more than 1,600 satellite years on orbit.
“The LADEE mission is extremely important in helping researchers understand how the lunar environment will affect future explorers,” said Stevan Spremo, deputy project manager for LADEE at NASA Ames.
“Space Systems/Loral understands the importance of this mission and presented us with a unique propulsion solution for our Modular Common Spacecraft Bus. Working with a commercial manufacturer is helping NASA to meet the demands for a lower-cost approach to science missions.”