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US Air Force Selects SSL for Hosted Payload Services

By Veronica Magan | September 5, 2014

      [Via Satellite 09-05-2014] The United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has selected Space Systems/Loral (SSL) to host government payloads on commercial satellites. The SMC awarded SSL an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract valued at a maximum of $494.5 million for both Geostationary (GEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO)/Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) missions.

      SSL was also one of the companies awarded the first task order under the Hosted Payload Solutions (HoPS) to assess hosting options for NASA’s Earth Venture Instrument, Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO). Additionally, SSL is currently working with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to place a Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) as a hosted payload on a commercial satellite to be built by SSL and projected for launch in 2017.

      SSL is also working with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design and implement a unique new capability that will accommodate what DARPA calls the Payload Orbital Delivery System (PODS). PODS enables affordable delivery of free-flying spacecraft beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by releasing them from a commercial spacecraft, such as the SSL 1300, while in geo-transfer orbit or after the satellite reaches its final orbital location. This capability can be leveraged for a broad range of missions such as satellite servicing, or science and technology space missions and demonstrations.