Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SSTL to develop low cost lunar orbiter for NASA

14.08.2007
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been awarded a contract for the study phase of a potential joint US-UK lunar orbiter mission to be called Magnolia.

This first phase of the contract will run for 9-months, culminating in a preliminary mission design. The contract includes a package of training by SSTL and the University of Surrey that will allow Mississippi State University (MSU) and NASA Stennis Space Center staff to benefit from the know-how accrued by SSTL over the last 25 years, across 27 small satellite missions.

Commenting on the contract award, MSU's David Shaw stated: "MSU is committed to developing a small satellite capability in Mississippi and believes that SSTL is the best partner with whom to achieve that aim". SSTL's founder and Group Executive Chairman, Sir Martin Sweeting, added: "We are delighted to be working with our US partners on this programme and look forward to the exciting possibility of a joint US-UK lunar mission. SSTL is committed to driving down the cost of space missions in Earth orbit and beyond."

In 2006, SSTL performed a lunar exploration design study for the UK government's Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (Footnote 1). The study was supported by a group of UK scientists and showed the feasibility of a pair of low cost missions known as MoonLITE and MoonRaker.

SSTL has already developed equipment for interplanetary missions such as the Rosetta comet chaser and recently delivered a payload processor for a US radar to fly onboard the 2008 Indian lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1. Looking further into space, SSTL has performed a European Space Agency feasibility study for a low cost mission to Venus and has studied potential missions to near-Earth asteroids and Earth re-entry for the future return of samples from Mars. Magnolia marks SSTL's next step beyond low Earth Orbit.

The next phase of the Magnolia mission is planned to start in 2008 and could lead to the launch of the mission in 2010.

The contract, between MSU and SSTL follows the signing of a Joint Statement of Intent between NASA and the UK's BNSC (Footnote 2).

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) develops innovative technologies to change the economics of space, delivering cost effective satellite missions within rapid timescales. The Company is a world leader in the design, manufacture and operation of high performance small satellites with experience gained over more than 25 years and 27 missions launched.

SSTL employs 250 staff working on LEO, GEO and interplanetary missions, turnkey satellite platforms and space-proven satellite subsystems and optical systems. The Company also provides know-how transfer and training programmes and consultancy services, and performs studies for ESA, NASA and commercial customers related to platform design, mission analysis and planning.

Based in Guildford, UK, SSTL is owned by the University of Surrey (85%), SSTL staff (5%), and SpaceX of the USA (10%).

Stuart Miller | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/174684main_Signed_Joint_Statement.pdf

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht One-way roads for spin currents
23.05.2018 | Singapore University of Technology and Design

nachricht Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory
23.05.2018 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>