PALO ALTO, Calif. – November 4, 2013 — Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced that that it has been selected to develop designs, processes and business terms for hosting free-flying science and technology missions on its geostationary (GEO) satellite platform.
Under the next phase of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Phoenix program, SSL intends to develop detailed design and implementation processes and business terms for cost effective delivery of small spacecraft beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO). In addition to its first use for the DARPA Phoenix mission, this capability is envisioned to enable numerous additional operational, science and technology space missions.
The goal of the revolutionary Phoenix program is to enable cost-effective repurposing of serviceable space hardware that is already on orbit. As part of the program, SSL aims to accommodate an ejectable hosted payload, called the Payload Orbital Delivery (POD) system, on a commercial GEO satellite. The POD would ultimately be released from the commercial spacecraft to accomplish its servicing mission in space.
“SSL is very pleased to participate in this innovative, affordable and sustainable access to space for the PODs that would supply and replenish the DARPA Phoenix architecture,” said John Celli, president of SSL. “DARPA’s vision and commitment to this capability could open the door to many other small satellite missions, enabled by frequent access to space on the SSL 1300 platform.”
SSL regularly works with a broad range of commercial satellite operators and has significant experience with hosted payload accommodation. For the DARPA Phoenix mission SSL intends to develop detailed plans and operating procedures for safe and accurate dispensing of the PODs from its 1300 satellite platform with minimal divergence from standard launch and orbit raising procedures. SSL also intends to work with DARPA to select the commercial host mission and develop the terms and conditions to incorporate POD ridesharing into standard commercial contracts.
SSL has a long history of delivering reliable satellites and spacecraft systems for commercial and government customers around the world. As the world’s leading provider of commercial satellites, the company works closely with satellite operators to provide spacecraft for a broad range of services including television and radio distribution, digital audio radio, broadband Internet, and mobile communications. Billions of people around the world depend on SSL satellites every day. 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.