NASA Space Act Agreements with Virgin Galactic, Moon Express, NanoRacks and More

NASA has released a document listing the 1,206 active Space Act Agreements  (SAAs) the agency has with commercial companies, non-profit organizations and state and local governments.

From that list, I’ve extracted agreements with individual companies. Below you will find tables listing SAAs that NASA has signed with Virgin Group companies, Moon Express and NanoRacks. There is also a fourth table that has SAAs with a number of companies and organizations that we follow on Parabolic Arc.

SAAs come in three varieties: reimburseable, non-reimburseable and funded. Under reimburseable agreements, a company or organization will pay NASA for its services. No money exchanges hands under non-reimburseable agrements. And under funded agreements, NASA pays the company to perform work or provide services. (The space agency made substantial use of SAA’s in the Commercial Crew Program.)

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U.S. Air Force Awards Four Study Contracts for Weather Mission

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center recently awarded four study contracts worth approximately $500,000 each to EO Vista, Millennium Space Systems, Orbital ATK, and Raytheon Company – Space and Airborne Systems. These companies will provide concept reports to address space-based cloud characterization and theater weather imagery solutions by the end of fiscal year 2019.

Currently, the Air Force relies on the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) and other programs to provide cloud characterization, whereby satellites analyze cloud detection, cover and temperature, and, theater weather imagery, whereby satellites record visible satellite images of atmospheric conditions. Together, these missions are referred to as Space Based Environmental Monitoring (SBEM) Electro Optical Infrared (EO/IR) capabilities. The SBEM EO/IR mission has been performed by the DMSP satellite constellation for over 50 years and the Air Force is exploring new long-term solutions to continue this mission.

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U.S. National Lab Research Payloads Headed for ISS

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (CASIS PR) The Orbital ATK Cygnus vehicle launched on its seventh cargo resupply mission (CRS-7) to the International Space Station (ISS) on April 18 aboard United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V vehicle, carrying more than 40 ISS U.S. National Laboratory sponsored investigations.

The ISS U.S. National Laboratory is chartered to facilitate research in the microgravity environment that benefits life on Earth. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is leading the effort in partnership with NASA, industry, other government organizations, and academia to manage and promote the best use of the ISS National Lab.

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Links to Parabolic Arc’s Coverage of Small Satellite 2016 Conference

SkyFire’s new infrared technology will help NASA enhance its knowledge of the lunar surface. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)
SkyFire’s new infrared technology will help NASA enhance its knowledge of the lunar surface. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

The Small Satellite 2016 Conference is now over. Below are links to Parabolic Arc’s coverage of the conference and the CubeSat Workshop that preceded it last weekend. There are also links to announcements made during the conference and in recent weeks.

Small Satellite Conference Coverage

Recent Smallsat News & Announcements

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SSC and Millennium Space Systems Team on Upcoming ALTAIR Launch

Swedish Space CorporationSOLNA, Sweden, Aug. 08, 2016 (SSC PR) – Officials with SSC, the Swedish Space Corporation, and Millennium Space Systems of El Segundo, Calif., today announced they are teaming together on the first-ever ALTAIR launch to provide customization and rapid constellation production for Millennium’s customers.

The ALTAIR spacecraft, a high performance space system for LEO, GEO and deep space missions, will launch on a SpaceX Dragon as part of an International Space Station (ISS) Commercial Resupply mission in the next 90 days. Once onboard the ISS, the 6U-ALTAIR spacecraft will be launched via the NanoRacks deployment system.

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Tethers Unlimited Signs Contracts to Deliver HYDROS Water-Propelled Thrusters

HYDROS thruster (Credit: Tethers Unlimited)
HYDROS thruster (Credit: Tethers Unlimited)

BOTHELL, Wash. (Tethers Unlimited PR) — Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) announced that it has signed a Public-Private Partnership with NASA to deliver a HYDROS™ propulsion system for a CubeSat mission. Concurrently, TUI has signed an associated contract to provide three HYDROS thrusters sized for Millennium Space Systems’ (MSS) ALTAIR™ class microsatellites to support three different flight missions. Total contract value for the two efforts is $2.2M.

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Millennium Space Systems Announces Key Promotions as Business Ramps Up

millennium-space-sytstemsEL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 1, 2016 (Millennium Space Systems PR) — Millennium Space Systems announces the promotions of Vince Deno to Chief Operating Officer and Bob Newberry to President, as the Company positions itself for further growth in the space & defense sector. The Company is expanding its R&D investments, manufacturing & production facilities, and workforce to support its growing role as a provider of affordable high performance space systems.

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Millennium Space Systems Expands Factory to Produce Hundreds of Satellites Each Year

millennium-space-sytstemsEL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 14, 2016 (Millennium Space Systems PR) — Millennium Space Systems has officially broken ground on Phase-3 of its manufacturing & production plan, building out an additional 35,000 square feet at its existing spacecraft factory in El Segundo, CA, located two miles south of LAX and adjacent to the Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Aerospace Corporation.

The expansion, anticipated to be completed by mid-summer of this year, also encompasses additional space to broaden the company’s existing onsite mission operations, rapid prototyping, internal research and development laboratories and high-tech workspace.

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Millennium Space Systems Announces Summer 2016 Launch of ALTAIR-1 Pathfinder

ALTAIR spacecraft (Credit: Millennium Space Systems)
ALTAIR spacecraft (Credit: Millennium Space Systems)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., January 27, 2015 (Millennium Space Systems PR) — Millennium Space Systems has inked a contract for launch services with NanoRacks LLC of Webster, Texas, to launch its ALTAIR-1 Pathfinder satellite into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) this summer via cargo resupply to the International Space Station (ISS).

The ALTAIR platform will demonstrate and flight qualify key technologies developed in house by Millennium Space in Guidance, Navigation & Control (GN&C); Avionics & Flight Computing; Advanced Onboard Processing; Electrical Power & Distribution; and Software Defined Radio Communications.

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Millennium Space Tests SeeMe Micro-Satellite Bus

millennium-space-sytstemsTorrance, CA (Millennium Space Systems PR) — Millennium Space Systems announced today the successful high-altitude balloon test of its new microsatellite bus, developed under the company’s DARPA SeeMe contract.

During a 1.5-hour flight to nearly 30 kilometers altitude over California’s Mojave Desert, Millennium engineers exercised key satellite subsystems and operational capabilities. The SeeMe prototype carried a telescope and new technology digital camera developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), which successfully captured images of the Earth during the mission, simulating the intended orbital capability.

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