Press Release

Millennium Space Systems Granted Exclusive License From NASA Goddard

By SpaceRef Editor
February 3, 2015
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Millennium Space Systems today announced that it has finalized an exclusive production license for the patented “Demisable Integrated Reaction Wheel Assembly” (DIRWA) from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. This exclusive license establishes the milestone point to kick off the production at Millennium, which will result in a new market capability, bringing significantly affordable, high-reliability reaction wheel products for its AQUILA M4 and M8 class platforms, and other medium to large satellite platforms ranging in mass from a few hundred kilograms to several thousand kilograms.

Millennium Vice President of Product Development, Dr. Jeffrey Ward, commented, “The DIRWA reaction wheels further fortify our capability in high-reliability spacecraft components and subsystems as we continue to vertically integrate the company to ensure the best value, all-US made, schedule-responsive products for our customers. This agreement with NASA Goddard builds on our success as the exclusive U.S. licensee of the Sinclair Interplanetary RWA3-1.0 (1 Newton-meter-second) reaction wheels, filling a widening gap in the US supply chain for satellite attitude control components.”

The DIRWA is an 80 Newton-meter-second reaction wheel, used to precisely point and slew large and medium satellites. Key to the DIRWA technology is that the flywheel and stator are made of aluminum, a material with a relatively low melting point, that disintegrates on re-entry, hence “demisable” (as opposed to traditional reaction wheels that use steel or titanium which history has shown, don’t entirely burn up on re-entry). The DIRWA wheels were flown on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) that has been operational sinceJune 2009, and more recently on NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory, which has been operational since February 2014.

About Millennium Space Systems  
Millennium Space Systems is a privately held, employee-owned company founded in November 2001, providing alternative and relevant solutions to today’s aerospace challenges. The company designs flight systems and develops mission and system solutions for the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense and National Aeronautics & Space Administration. For more information, visit

More on NASA Goddard Space Flight Center can be found at:

Media Contact:  
Jason Kim, Director of Strategic Planning  
Email * Phone: 310.683.5884



SpaceRef staff editor.