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OSC → Orbital ATK → Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS): LEOStar-2


Designed to be launched on a Pegasus-XL launch vehicle, or in multiple or "piggyback" units on SELVS-II or smaller launch vehicles, Orbital's innovative, flexible LEOStar-2 satellite platform supports payloads up to 210 kg. The LEOStar-2 structure is a simple, but robust modular design consisting of a hexagonal bus with a dedicated payload interface module. The hexagonal bus enhances its stiff structure, which is suited for payloads requiring rapid slew rates and short settling times.

Designed for flexibility, the LEOStar-2 bus has been adapted to a variety of space science, remote sensing and technology validation missions. It features a large separate payload compartment with volume to handle multiple instruments and a pointing capability of up to 150 arcseconds per axis with pointing knowledge of up to 108 arcseconds per axis, which can be dramatically enhanced by redundant or high-performance ACS components.

LEOStar-2's unique design offers frequent, cost-effective, launch-sharing opportunities. Depending on the payload height and complexity, for example, multiple LEOStar-2 satellites readily fit within the Delta II, Taurus, Athena and SELVS-I and II launch vehicles.

Customers can purchase the LEOStar-2 spacecraft alone, or as part of a turn-key service that includes launch, operations and data delivery as well. For the OrbView-1 and OrbView-2 programs, based on other Orbital-built satellites, the company provided end-to-end services and is paid for delivery of data. Orbital produced the satellite bus, integrated two payloads and launched the satellite on a Pegasus, and is currently conducting mission operations from its own ground station, delivering data to principal investigators via direct downlink and the Internet.

To date, Orbital has launched one LEOStar-2 bus and has two more in production. The LEOStar-2 bus was designed for production line assembly and testing, which provides cost and schedule advantages through the uses of mature designs, familiar manufacturing and test equipment, dedicated and experienced personnel, and established vendor sources.

Satellite Date Launcher Weight (kg) Remarks
Launch BOL
AIM (SMEX 9, Explorer 90) 25.04.2007 Pegasus-XL 200
GALEX (SMEX 7, Explorer 83) 28.04.2003 Pegasus-XL 312
GEMS (SMEX 13) cancelled
ICON (MIDEX 8, Explorer 96) 11.10.2019 Pegasus-XL 288
NuSTAR (SMEX 11, Explorer 93) 13.06.2012 Pegasus-XL 360
OCO (ESSP 5) 24.02.2009 F Taurus-3110 407
OCO 2 02.07.2014 Delta-7320-10C 407
OrbView 4 21.09.2001 F Taurus-2110 368 Launch failure
SORCE 25.01.2003 Pegasus-XL 315
TESS (MIDEX 7, Explorer 95) 18.04.2018 Falcon-9 v1.2 365

Source: OSC LEOStar-2 Data Sheet

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