PALO ALTO, CA, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ - Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced that it provided a two-axis gimbal mechanism for NASA's Raven flight demonstration, which was delivered to the International Space Station on the 10th SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission. Developed by NASA's Satellite Servicing Projects Division, Raven will help the agency test key elements of a real-time spacecraft relative navigation system that will help to enable spacecraft servicing and rendezvous missions.
Raven will use the two-axis gimbal mechanism to point its Rendezvous and Proximity Operations sensors at visiting vehicles as they make their approach to dock with the International Space Station. The gimbal is based on SSL's heritage Dual Access Positioning Mechanism, which is used to deploy and position reflectors, antennas, and electric thrusters on the SSL 1300 platform. Once integrated with the International Space Station, the Raven payload will be tested over a two-year period.
"SSL has core capabilities and a focus on innovation that benefit both commercial and government missions," said Al Tadros, vice president, Civil and DOD Business at SSL. "The volume of our commercial business has allowed us to advance our technologies at a rapid pace, making us an ideal industry partner, that brings flexible, cost-effective, and reliable solutions for next-generation space systems."
SSL was selected by NASA and DARPA to partner on satellite servicing programs in both Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), and the company is also developing technologies for satellite self-assembly on orbit. Raven is expected to help NASA develop off-the-shelf relative navigation capability for future rendezvous missions, including satellite servicing and repair missions, asteroid exploration, and human exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.
"Mastering complex in-space robotic manipulation of satellites is fundamental to the security of our nation's current satellite fleets and deployment and maintenance of future space architectures," said Rich White, senior vice president of Business Development, Government Systems at SSL. "Our contribution to Raven is another example of a technology that will help mature satellite servicing capability."
SSL is contributing to a variety of next generation U.S. government missions, including the Restore-L mission for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, which will demonstrate satellite servicing in 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.
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.