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York Space Systems Announces Successful Test of Autonomous Operations Upgrade

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 7, 2021
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DENVER, April 6, 2021 (York Space Systems PR) — York Space Systems’ rapidly deployable satellite system has successfully completed a rigorous twelve-month operational testing phase, demonstrating enterprise-wide autonomous operations for York customers. This next-generation technology upgrade design is backward compatible with York’s existing customers and enables all future customers to enjoy even lower monthly operating costs and an unsurpassed speed-to-space, from years to days.

York’s first production spacecraft and mission operations center just surpassed two years on orbit and served as the operational platform to complete testing. It performed exceptionally well on orbit, leveraging four distinct technology demonstration payloads, including Earth observation technologies and a high-data-rate communications link. While the platform has a five-year design life, mission data indicates an expected lifespan of seven to eight years.

“York Space Systems’ devotion to delivering what customers truly need has led us to a multi-role platform design that is manufactured at high rate,” said Charles Beames, executive chairman of York Space Systems. “The successful completion of operational testing now means even faster on-orbit checkout and test for our newest customers, and man-out-of-the-loop capability to operate entire constellations.

“Autonomous mission operations is now a standard baseline capability and just another step on our journey to faster on-orbit delivery and low cost operations of industrial grade spacecraft,” Beames added. “York’s entire leadership team is committed to continuous private investments to shorten delivery to orbit, enhance capabilities, and reduce costs for its customers.”

York Space Systems delivers custom space solutions by leveraging its low-cost spacecraft that is fully compatible with all current launch service companies and operating ground segment providers. 

In May of 2020, York opened a new production facility, tripling its footprint and enabling the company to expedite the mass manufacturing of its spacecraft platform. This next-generation production facility is now at full operational capability, providing an on-demand surge capability to produce 20 spacecraft simultaneously with a secure, 100% flight-qualified supply chain.

“It’s clear that our military now requires faster delivery than ever before, much like our commercial customers do,” said Dirk Wallinger, York’s founder and CEO. “The successful operational testing of these new capabilities demonstrates our commitment to lead in this new generation of space customers, whether it’s the tactical warfighter or the Fortune 500 company seeking to gain an edge against its competitors. Our customers are finding that the ability to delivery on orbit in 90 days from contract award instead of four years is exactly what they need to outpace their competition.

“Our team combines active-duty operational and acquisition bench strength from the Air Force and NRO with world-class engineering talent from the traditional aerospace, gaming and tech sectors. We deliver on the timelines our demanding customers expect with no excuses,” added Wallinger. “Our goal is to continue to outpace traditional market players with our agile approach to the new space economy.”

About York Space Systems

York Space Systems was founded to radically improve spacecraft affordability, reliability, and time to orbit. York’s industry-leading approach to delivering Space Segment Solutions includes spacecraft production, payload integration, system integration and test, launch services, ground segment services, and mission operations. York’s S-CLASS industrial-grade platform is a modular 3-axis stabilized spacecraft that supports 85+kg payloads with up to 3,500+W peak (enhanced power system) that dramatically reduces the cost of manufacture. The S-CLASS spacecraft is fully compatible with leading launch vehicles, including ground and air-launched, and ground segment providers. When combined, these capabilities deliver a competitive advantage to customers seeking a rapidly deployed, low-cost solution for on-demand data collection and analytics. For more information, visit