by Staff Writers
Palo Alto, CA (SPX) Mar 16, 2012
Space Systems/Loral has completed on time delivery of a new propulsion system to NASA. The propulsion system for the Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft was delivered to NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., on Thursday, March 8 following successful completion of the final delivery reviews and sign-off.
"Designing spacecraft systems and teaming with commercial manufacturers is helping the NASA Ames-led LADEE project meet demand for lower-cost approaches to science missions," said Stevan Spremo, deputy project manager for LADEE at NASA Ames.
The LADEE mission to collect lunar dust and study the moon's atmosphere is key to helping researchers plan for future exploration. The propulsion system, which SS/L delivered, will enable LADEE to reach the moon.
Using SS/L to provide the system leverages the capability of commercially proven technology for U.S. Government missions.
"In this era of fiscal constraint it is important for the commercial sector to share our extensive heritage and capabilities with government organizations such as NASA," said John Celli, president of Space Systems/Loral.
"We have enjoyed teaming with our neighbors here in Northern California, who have designed a very versatile spacecraft platform for unmanned space exploration, and we stand ready to provide future support as needed."
NASA's LADEE spacecraft is a small observatory that will orbit the moon to determine the global density, composition, and time variability of the lunar atmosphere before it is perturbed by further human activity.
Its secondary mission will be testing a new spacecraft architecture called the Modular Common Bus, which is being developed by NASA as a flexible, low cost, spacecraft for both orbiting and landing on the moon and other deep space targets.
LADEE also will carry an experimental payload that will demonstrate the capability of long distance laser communications.
The LADEE propulsion system built by Space Systems/Loral is a variant of the mission critical systems used over many years on the geostationary satellites that the company provides for television, radio, broadband internet, meteorology and a host of other services.
Space Systems/Loral has more commercial satellite transponders on orbit than any other manufacturer and has built the world's highest capacity broadband satellites. Currently there are 67 SS/L-built satellites orbiting Earth.
Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)
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China starts manufacturing third lunar probe
Beijing (XNA) Mar 15, 2012
China has begun designing and manufacturing the flight model entity of its third lunar probe, Chang'e-3, according to the administration of China's lunar probe project. As a key part of the second step of China's three-phase lunar probe projects, the Chang'e-3 mission has entered the flight mode phase from prototype phase, according to a statement from the State Administration of Science, ... read more
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