Status Report

New Technology Now Makes Launch of Space Satellites Affordable to the ‘Masses’

By SpaceRef Editor
November 15, 2000
Filed under

Quality Launch of Space Satellites for as Low as $45,000 Makes Space Available for Commercial, Academic and Personal Applications

Nov. 15, 2000–
At a press conference today, One Stop Satellite Solutions
announced that the company has developed technology which enables
high-quality, small space satellites to be launched for the first time
for as little as $45,000, compared to a cost of about $3 million to $5
million using current alternatives.

Dale Richards, President of One Stop Satellite Solutions, said,
“Just as Henry Ford made the automobile affordable to the masses for
the first time in the early 20th Century, the CubeSat satellite,
developed by Stanford University and California Polytechnic State
University, will make space satellites affordable to the masses for
the first time in the early 21st Century. With CubeSat satellites,
which measure only 4 x 4 x 4 inches, space has been opened to
individuals and groups in the general public, academic institutions
and small as well as large businesses and corporations. These
satellites will be launched on our Multi-Payload Adaptor, which could
be viewed as a ‘mass transportation’ vehicle to space.”

As a result of the de-militarizing of nuclear missiles — in the
U.S. and Russia — One Stop Satellite Solutions has launched its
satellites on former U.S. Minuteman missiles and will launch future
satellites on former Russian ICBM missiles. In January 2000, the
company had a successful launch aboard the first Minotaur Missile (a
Minuteman missile converted launch vehicle) in its Joint Air Force
Academy-Weber State University Satellite program. The first launch of
the CubeSat satellite is scheduled for November 2001. Richards said
his company is proud of its role in transforming former weapons of war
into vehicles for peaceful purposes.

Professor Robert Twiggs, consulting professor of aeronautics and
astronautics at Stanford University, inventor of the CubeSat satellite
technology, now being licensed to One Stop Satellite Solutions, also
addressed the news conference. He said, “With this program, we are
opening an unprecedented new door for opportunities in space that have
previously been closed. Now, based on inquiries we have received, I
can envision some 100 to 200 of these small satellites being launched
annually. However, to avoid littering space, we have plans to bring
them back to earth once their programs have been completed.”

The technology that will be used by One Stop Satellite Solutions
in the launch of its CubeSat satellites, was first developed at the
Center for Aerospace Technology at Weber State University, Ogden Utah.
Weber State was the first university to have a payload launched on a
NASA shuttle. In a prelude to the development of CubeSat, the
university launched WEBERSAT in 1990, a mission experts said could not
be accomplished using only off-the-shelf commercial parts.

The satellite, made by a team of Weber State faculty and students
and AMSAT-NA engineers, was expected to have a lifespan in space of
two years. Today, 10 years later, three of the four satellites
launched on that mission are still in orbit and operating. Technology
developed at Weber State was transferred to One Stop Satellite
Solutions, and forms the basis for the company’s space launch program.

“One Stop Satellite Solutions Inc. is a prime example of a success
story for our program,” said Dr. Rajiv Kulkarni, Director, Utah
Centers for Excellence Program, which funds the commercialization of
University developed technologies. The program plays a vital role in
the growth of Utah’s high-tech economy and partially funded the Center
for Aerospace Technology at Weber State University, where the CubeSat
small satellite program was developed.

Also attending the press conference was Vladimir Andreev, Director
General of Kosmotras, the Russian company that is commercializing
former Russian nuclear missiles, ICBMs today called Dnepr Rockets.
Kosmotras is working with One Stop Satellite Solutions to provide
decommissioned ICBM launch vehicles in Russia for CubeSat satellite

Kosmotras and Thiokol Propulsion, of Brigham City, Utah, along
with One Stop Satellite Solutions, have entered into an agreement,
which calls for Kosmotras to provide relatively inexpensive launch
opportunities using the Dnepr Launch Vehicle, supported by the
governments of Russia and the Ukraine. One Stop Satellite Solutions
will provide management and integration of small satellites into a
single payload module utilizing the company’s multi-payload adaptor.
Thiokol will provide organizational and legal support for the joint
program as a marketing agent of Kosmotras.

One Stop Satellite Solutions, a private company founded in 1996
and headquartered in Ogden, Utah, has commercialized the technology
under development for 15 years at the Center for Aerospace Technology
at Weber State University. The company’s mission is to provide its
customers with lower cost, high-quality small satellites for more
effective access to space. The company, in conjunction with the Center
for Aerospace Technology, has successfully designed, engineered and
manufactured eight low earth orbit satellites in the 100 to 500 pound
class. The company’s patented and proprietary technology provides
attitude control that is more precise and less complex to operate than
any other small satellite system on the market. Additional patents are
pending that will allow this technology to be utilized in other
control applications.

The company demonstrated its satellite design and manufacturing
capability in January, 2000 with the successful launch of a multi-use
group of satellites aboard a decommissioned U.S. Minuteman missile,
called a Minotaur launch vehicle.

SpaceRef staff editor.