Ball Aerospace provided the NEXTSat/CSC (Next Generation Satellite and Commodities spacecraft) and ground support, reinforce mission operations, and supply components for the Autonomous Space Transfer and Robotic Orbiter (ASTRO) spacecraft.
The Orbital Express Advanced Technology Demonstration Program is intended to develop and demonstrate autonomous techniques for on-orbit refueling and reconfiguration of satellites. During Phase II, the team performs an on-orbit servicing demonstration using two satellites: the unmanned service vehicle, ASTRO, and the serviceable/commodities satellite, NEXTSat/CSC. The team also developed industry standard servicing interfaces and protocols that could be utilized by future spacecraft developers.
A successful Orbital Express demonstration showed how on-orbit servicing can reduce space program costs and improve mission utility through spacecraft life extension and/or improved maneuverability, which could have a significant positive impact on future space systems.
Ball Aerospace's NEXTSat/CSC employs architecture from the Deep Impact Impactor, including software, command and data handling, and power switching, as well as elements from BCP-2000, such as the narrow-band telecom architecture from Cloudsat.
The mission is funded through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense. It is scheduled to launch in 2006.
|Type / Application:||Remote Servicing Technology|
|Power:||2 deployable solar arrays, batteries|
|Orbit:||450 km × 450 km, 38°|
|NEXTSat/CSC||09.03.2007||CC SLC-41||Atlas-5(401)||with ASTRO, STPSat 1, CFESat, MidSTAR 1, FalconSat 3|