Press Release

Harris Corporation Selected for Potential $58 Million Contract for New NASA Space Suit Communications System

By SpaceRef Editor
June 19, 2008
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Software-defined Radios Are Key Component of Constellation Program Extravehicular Activity

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) , an international communications and information technology company, has been selected for a potential seven-year, $58 million contract to provide the RF communications/navigation system for the next-generation space suit supporting NASA’s Constellation program. Harris is a member of the Oceaneering International, Inc. team.

The primary goals of NASA’s Constellation Program are to maintain an American presence in low Earth orbit, to return to the moon for purposes of establishing an outpost, and to lay a foundation to explore Mars and beyond in the first half of the 21st century.

Under the new Constellation Space Suit System (CSSS) contract, Harris will supply a radiation-hardened, software-defined radio (SDR); a voice-only contingency radio; and low profile antennas. The SDR provides the flexibility and adaptability required to accommodate evolving voice and data networking requirements of future lunar missions with the goal of future-proofing the space suit’s communications system.

The new modular space-suit system will include two configurations for individual crewmembers during Orion missions: one for low Earth orbit, and a second for lunar surface extravehicular activity. It is the first new U.S. space suit to be developed since those designed for the Space Shuttle program. NASA awarded the contract to the Oceaneering International team last week to design, build, test, certify, produce, process, and integrate the new space suit system.

“This award represents a strategic win for Harris in a market that we have targeted for growth. Harris technology will help NASA realize its vision for the next generation of space exploration,” said Frank Van Rensselaer, vice president and senior executive account manager for NASA Programs at Harris Government Communications Systems. “We are very pleased to be working with Oceaneering International on this important initiative that helps to ensure the comfort and safety of our nation’s astronauts, while providing them the most advanced communications technology available.”

Harris has supported major NASA programs since the 1960s, including the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. As NASA began Project Constellation, which includes a new generation of spacecraft and other space platforms, Harris launched a strategic growth initiative to pursue new opportunities with NASA. Harris is very pleased to join the contractor team that will support future missions to the Moon and beyond.

About Harris Corporation

Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual revenue of more than $5 billion and 16,000 employees — including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications(R) products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at

Source: Harris Corporation

CONTACT: Sleighton Meyer, Harris Government Communications Systems, +1-321-727-6514,, Jim Burke, Harris Corporation, +1-321-727-9131,, or Marc Raimondi, Harris Corporation – Washington, D.C., +1-202-729-1738,

SpaceRef staff editor.