LAFAYETTE, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX), was selected by Ball Aerospace to develop a standardized X-SAT Venus ESPA-class microsatellite bus and several custom components to enable an upcoming one-of-a-kind mission with NASA for the Solar Cruiser project.
As the largest planned solar sail to date, the 18,000 square-foot sail is a third the size of a football field. The Solar Cruiser: “Sailing on Sunlight” mission is being led by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center out of Huntsville, Alabama. Ball Aerospace will perform several mission-critical functions, including the integration and test of the satellite bus with the solar sail system that will form the completed “Sailcraft.” Other partners on the mission include Roccor, NeXolve, SDL, Purdue University, and the University of Alabama. According to NASA, Solar Cruiser will mature solar sail propulsion technology to enable near-term, compelling space science missions for NASA and the nation. NASA is expected to formally confirm the Solar Cruiser mission in 2022.
“Our high-performing spacecraft, components and systems are designed to meet each mission’s specific needs,” said Stephen Steg, CEO of Blue Canyon Technologies.
BCT will support custom guidance navigation and control software and provide custom solar arrays aboard the mission scheduled for launch no earlier than 2025. Solar Cruiser is one of four missions that will rideshare with the launch of NASA’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP). The Solar Cruiser is the culmination of two decades of U.S. solar sail development and will allow space missions to new locations.
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Read at: https://www.bluecanyontech.com/news/blue-canyon-technologies-selected-by-ball-aerospace-to-provide-spacecraft-bus-for-nasa-solar-cruiser-program