WASHINGTON - Lockheed Martin, a company that for decades has built schoolbus-sized spacecraft for the U.S. government, opened a new facility to assemble small satellites, which are now in higher demand, Sandra Erwin reports for SpaceNews. Continue reading original article.
The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:
8 August 2023 - The multi-million dollar facility will house the company’s Space Development Agency (SDA) Tranche 1 Transport Layer satellites, among other smallsat programs and technology demonstrators.
The 20,000-square-foot low bay clean room, located on the company’s Waterton, Colorado campus, will feature six scalable parallel assembly lines and is configurable to host different classifications of missions concurrently. Built with flow and throughput in mind, the center is tailored to accommodate all stages of smallsat development, including spacecraft-level functional and performance testing.
The facility hosts dedicated testing capabilities, including thermal cycle and electromagnetic chambers, scaled to efficiently build and test satellites ranging in size from CubeSats to smallsats. This facility is supporting the delivery of 180 satellites or more per year.
Lockheed Martin is currently developing more than 50 satellites for the SDA’s Transport Layer, which will provide military users with low-latency communication links through a resilient network of integrated capabilities from low-Earth orbit. Lockheed Martin’s 10 Tranche 0 Transport Layer satellites are expected to launch this year, while its 42 Tranche 1 satellites will soon move into processing in the new factory to support a 2024 launch.
Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics