Orbital Reveals New Lithium-Ion Battery to be Used for Future Launches
[Satellite Today 01-21-09] Orbital Sciences Corp. is using lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries from Saft as a power source for air-launched space launch vehicles, the company announced Jan. 20.
Orbital Sciences said in the months leading up to the recent launch of its Pegasus rocket, the company determined that it needed a more mass-efficient power source than is needed on a typical flight of its air-launched space launch vehicle.
The battery was integrated in the Pegasus rocket after five years in storage and performed like new, the company said.
“Saft has been a trusted supplier to Orbital on a number of programs such as DART and Optus D1, D2 and D3 satellites,” Thomas Alcide, general manager of Saft’s specialty battery group, said in a statement. “This opportunistic use of our battery demonstrates the excellent storage life, dependability and robustness of Saft’s space batteries.”