Boeing Satellite Development Center

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The Boeing Satellite Development Center is a major business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. It brought together Boeing satellite operations with that of GM Hughes Electronics' Space and Communications division.

History[edit]

In 1948 Howard Hughes' Hughes Aircraft Company formed the Aerospace Group within the company, divided into:

  • Hughes Space and Communications Group
  • Hughes Space Systems Division

In 1953 the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) was formed, and Hughes Aircraft reformed as a subsidiary of the foundation. The charity status of the foundation allowed Hughes Aircraft to avoid taxes on its huge income. In 1961 the two Aerospace Group divisions were reformed as Hughes Space and Communications Company.

Hughes Space and Communications Company launched the first geosynchronous communications satellite, Syncom, in 1963.

On April 5, 1976 Howard Hughes died at the age of 70, leaving no will. In 1984 the Delaware Court of Chancery appointed eight trustees of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, who decided to sell Hughes Aircraft to General Motors for $5.2 billion — this transaction was completed in 1985. GM merged Hughes Aircraft with its Delco Electronics unit to form Hughes Electronics. This group then consisted of:

  • Delco Electronics Corporation
  • Hughes Aircraft Company
  • Hughes Space and Communications Company
  • Hughes Network Systems
  • DirecTV

In 1995 Hughes Space and Communications Company became the world's biggest supplier of commercial satellites. In 1997 GM transferred Delco Electronics from Hughes Electronics to its Delphi Automotive Systems and later in the year sold the aerospace and defense operations of Hughes Electronics (Hughes Aircraft) to Raytheon.

Hughes Space and Communications Company remained independent until 2000, when it was purchased by Boeing and became Boeing Satellite Development Center.

In 2005 Boeing Satellite Systems sold Boeing Electron Dynamic Devices to L3 communications.

Current operations[edit]

Hughes added the following to Boeing's portfolio:

The purchase of Hughes Space and Communications Company in 2000 gave Boeing an impressive range of products for design, manufacture, launch and support of satellites. This was in addition to Boeing Integrated Defense Systems' other space assets, e.g. Delta launch vehicles, older-generation GPS satellites, and Rocketdyne and Rockwell's space operations (which include much of the hardware used in NASA's manned space program, such as the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, rocket engines, etc.)

Currently projects at the Boeing Satellite Development Center (spacecraft being designed, built, tested, or prepared for launch) are satellites made for XM (satellite radio), DirecTV (satellite television), MSV (satellite mobile telephony), Spaceway (data networks), GPS (satellite navigation), and for the Wideband Global SATCOM system and TSAT projects (military communications). Designs for ISAT (military orbital radar demonstrator), for additional GOES satellites (meteorology), and for other spacecraft, are currently being developed and proposed.

Subsidiaries[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]


External links[edit]