[Satellite TODAY 03-19-12] Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) has delivered a new propulsion system to NASA’s Ames Research Center for the Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft following successful completion of the final delivery reviews and sign-off, the manufacturer confirmed March 15.
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. The propulsion system, which SS/L delivered on time, aims to enable LADEE to reach the moon by leveraging proven commercially 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,” SS/L President John Celli said in a statement. 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.”