SSL Developing Robotic Sample Handling Assembly for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars 2020 Project

Feb 29, 2016, 17:00 ET from SSL

PASADENA, CA, Feb. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced it will design and build a robotic Sample Handling Assembly (SHA) for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) through MDA US Systems, a division of MDA, managed by SSL. The arm will be used on a rover vehicle exploring Mars to process and store samples acquired from the planet's surface.

"Our space-proven technology positions SSL well to help support JPL's robotic space exploration activities," said Nick Zello, Director, Emerging Markets Operations. "As an industry partner we bring cost-effective solutions and a highly responsive and flexible environment to assist NASA in its mission to bring the world new insights and discoveries."

The SHA robotic arm will be attached within the forward end of the Mars 2020 rover, which will investigate a site on Mars that is thought to have once been habitable. The arm will be part of an Adaptive Caching Assembly which will manipulate, assess, encapsulate, store, and release collected Martian soil and rock samples.

SSL robotics have the capability to provide extreme accuracy and the cleanliness required for working with soil and rock samples. The SHA arm for JPL will be designed to operate under extreme temperature variations within a dirty and dusty environment. The SSL hardware will be used for engineering testing, qualification testing, and deployment on Mars.

According to JPL, the Mars 2020 Project is designed to advance high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, and the mission will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars.

SSL has the ability to build on robotics technologies proven on the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, and Mars landers and rovers. The company also recently announced other work with JPL and is the industry partner for a potential NASA Discovery Mission to the asteroid Psyche and to participate in a first phase study for a spacecraft bus for NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission

About SSL

Space Systems Loral (SSL) is a leading provider of commercial satellites with broad expertise to support satellite operators and innovative space related missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband Internet, mobile communications, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for more than 50 years, SSL's advanced product line also includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and automation solutions for remote operations. For more information, visit www.sslmda.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of Space Systems Loral (SSL) with respect to future events and financial performance.  When used in this news release, the words "believes", "expects", "plans", "may", "will", "would", "could", "should", "anticipates", "estimates", "project", "intend" or "outlook" or other variations of these words or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Known risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with operating satellites and providing satellite services, including satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit failures or impaired satellite performance; risks associated with satellite manufacturing, including competition, cyclicality of SSL's end-user markets, contractual risks, creditworthiness of customers, performance of suppliers and management of SSL's factory and personnel; risk associated with financial factors such as volatility in exchange rates, increases in interest rates, restrictions on access to capital, and swings in global financial markets; risks associated with domestic and foreign government regulation, including export controls and economic sanctions; and other risks, including litigation. The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information contained in this news release reflects SSL's beliefs, assumptions, intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, SSL disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise the information herein.

SOURCE SSL