PALO ALTO, CA, March 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced that MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, was recognized by NASA's Johnson Space Center for its outstanding support of a robotic upgrade to the International Space Station's (ISS) power system which took place in January. The MDA team based in Houston played a critical role in planning and validating the robotic maneuvering both before and during the mission.
NASA JSC Ground Controllers used the 15-degrees-of-freedom Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator (Dextre) arm to install six new 430-pound lithium-ion batteries in two power channel Integrated Electronics Assembly pallets. Dextre first removed twelve older and depleted 740-pound nickel-hydrogen batteries from the pallets, nine of which were put on the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle's external pallet to burn up on re-entry with it.
By using the Dextre robotic arm, only two astronaut EVAs (Extravehicular Activities) were required to replace the batteries instead of six EVAs, which reduced the risk to the crew and freed up time for them to spend on important space science work. During the mission, MDA's Houston staff supported several weeks of two-shift days. The mission's success was the culmination of years of planning and preparation, and included coordination with multiple engineering disciplines and international partners.
"Our team was honored to be recognized by NASA for its contribution to this mission," said Rich White, senior vice president of Government Systems at SSL. "SSL and MDA have a long history of collaboration in robotics work for NASA and we continue to work together to design innovative advanced robotic augmentation and servicing systems for future missions."
SSL and MDA have the ability to build on robotics technologies proven on the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, and Mars landers and rovers. The company is also working on a variety of next generation government missions, including the Restore-L mission for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, which will demonstrate satellite servicing in Low Earth Orbit (LEO); NASA's Discovery Mission to explore the metal asteroid called Psyche; and the Dragonfly program for NASA and DARPA, which will demonstrate on orbit satellite assembly. SSL also announced earlier this month that it was selected to partner with DARPA on the RSGS robotic servicing in Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO) program.
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.
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.