Press Release

Lockheed Martin selected to build, fly microsatellite

By SpaceRef Editor
August 26, 2001
Filed under , ,

Lockheed Martin Space Systems – Astronautics Operations, headquartered near Denver, Colo., has been selected by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to partner with the laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate’s Integrated Space Experiments Division to design, build and demonstrate in flight the Experimental Satellite System (XSS-11) microsatellite. XSS-11 is envisioned to be a 100-kg (220-pound) microsatellite that will further explore, demonstrate and flight-qualify microsatellite technologies. The contract is valued at $21 million.

XSS-11’s emphasis will be on autonomous on-orbit operations and to advance
those capabilities needed for a satellite to maintain operations on-orbit
without intervention from ground-based mission control teams and assets.
The technology can be applied in a number of ways. For example, one of the
XSS-11 mission goals is to perform space flight demonstration of
technologies needed for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s
(NASA) proposed plans to use spacecraft to collect samples of rocks and soil
from Mars and return them to Earth for analysis.

“We are extremely pleased to be chosen by the Air Force Research Laboratory
to develop and demonstrate this advanced technology for microsats,” said G.
Thomas Marsh, president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Space Systems
– Astronautics Operations. “We have a tremendous team of people who bring a
combination of innovation, experience and technological vision to this
program. And this new capability will have applications for any number of
other spacecraft programs.”

The Lockheed Martin team includes the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory,
Octant Technologies, Inc., Broad Reach Engineering and Science Applications
International Corporation. The AFRL team also includes the Air Force Space
and Missile Systems Center’s Detachment 12 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New
Mexico, which will support spacecraft launch and on-orbit experiment
operations. This program will establish the feasibility of possible future
Air Force space missions through the use of affordable microsatellites.

XSS-11 is a “Davis-Class” space mission, named for Major General Richard W.
Davis who was the national security space architect when he passed away
earlier this year. General Davis was a strong and enthusiastic advocate of
space flight demonstrations at the lab. Pursuit of space flight
demonstration programs to flight-test military space technology is just one
way the Air Force seeks to preserve the memory and heritage that General
Davis instilled in Air Force space professionals.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, Colo., is
one of the major operating units of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Space
Systems designs, develops, tests, manufactures and operates a variety of
advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers.
Chief products include a full range of space launch systems, ground systems,
remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government
customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet
ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise
principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and
integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The
Corporation’s core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics
and technology services. Employing more than 140,000 people worldwide,
Lockheed Martin had 2000 sales surpassing $25 billion.

SpaceRef staff editor.