Space Systems/Loral

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Space Systems/Loral, LLC (SSL)
Type Subsidiary
Industry Aerospace
Founded 1957
Headquarters Palo Alto, California
Website www.sslmda.com

Space Systems/Loral, LLC (SSL, formerly SS/L), of Palo Alto, California, is a wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA). SSL designs and builds satellites and space systems for a wide variety of government and commercial customers. Its products include high-powered direct-to-home broadcast satellites, commercial weather satellites, digital audio radio satellites and spot-beam satellites for data networking applications.

On June 26, 2012 SS/L was acquired for $875 million by the Canadian aerospace company MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA). SS/L was acquired in 1990 for $715 million by Loral Corp. from Ford Motor Company as the Space Systems Division of Ford Aerospace. The company was founded as the Western Development Laboratories (WDL) of Philco (Philco-Ford since 1966).

SSL's customers include AsiaSat, DirecTV, EchoStar, Eutelsat, Globalstar, Hispasat, Hughes Network Systems, ICO Global Communications, Intelsat, Japan MTSAT, JSC Gascom, Loral Skynet, NASA/NOAA (GOES), NBN Co, Optus, PanAmSat, QuetzSat, Satmex, SES S.A., SES World Skies, Shin Satellite, Sirius Satellite Radio, SpainSat, Star One, Telenor, ViaSat, WildBlue, and XM Satellite Radio.

In 1960, the Courier 1B, built by then Philco, became the world's first active repeater satellite.

SSL has recently pioneered research in electric propulsion systems, lithium-ion power systems and the use of advanced composites on commercial satellites, which permit significant increases in the size and power of a satellite’s payload and extends the satellite’s on-orbit lifetime. SSL also has developed new service-enhancing technologies such as super power systems for direct-to-user applications and ground-based beam forming, a technology that uses both satellite and terrestrial assets to provide mobile users with increased coverage and capacity capabilities.

SSL’s major competitors are Boeing Satellite Systems, Lockheed Martin, Thales Alenia Space, EADS Astrium and JSC Information Satellite Systems[citation needed].

1300 series platform[edit]

Main article: LS-1300
Artist impression of Optus C1, built on the LS-1300 platform

SS/L manufactures satellites based on its 1300 series platform in Palo Alto, California. Satellites in the series include ProtoStar I, ICO G1, SIRIUS FM-6 and SES NEW SKIES NSS-12. As of January 2008 there were 48 satellites based on the 1300 series platform in service, with 4 more ready for launch and 14 others under construction.[1]

COTS proposal[edit]

SSL and Constellation Services International have proposed a reusable space tug based on the 1300 platform and a pressure-fed, low-cost Aquarius Launch Vehicle. The tug would be used to bring supplies to the International Space Station as part of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.[1][2][3]

NASA eventually decided to pursue another proposal for this project. SS/L, however, continues to provide Battery Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs), Battery Charge Discharge Units (BCDUs), and Sequential Shunt Units (SSUs) for the ISS.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "SS/L Commercial Orbital Transportation Services". constellationservices.com. 2007. 
  2. ^ "Space Systems/Loral Proposes Bus for NASA's Cargo Needs" (Press release). Space News. 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  3. ^ "CONSTELLATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL AND SPACE SYSTEMS LORAL TEAM ON NASA COTS PROPOSAL USING A U.S. VERSION OF CSI’S LEO EXPRESSSM CARGO SYSTEM" (PDF) (Press release). Constellation Services International, Inc. 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  4. ^ International Space Station

External links[edit]