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LOXSAT 1 [RocketLab]

LOXSAT 1 is a small-scale flight demonstration of a complete cryogenic oxygen fluid management system developed by Eta Space and sponsored by NASA's Tipping Point program.

It is Rocket lab's demonstration mission for their Photon-LEO bus, a satellite bus based on their Kick Stage Upper stage of the Electron rocket.

As proposed, the system will be the primary payload on a Rocket Lab Photon-LEO satellite and collect critical cryogenic fluid management data in orbit for nine months. The small business will collaborate with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission was selected in October 2020 by NASA's Tipping Point program. After launch in mid 2024 (originally late 2023 was planned), the nine-month LOXSAT 1 mission will fully demonstrate the capability of in-space cryogenic storage and transfer. Anticipating successful mission results, Eta Space will use private funding to develop a truly commercial depot intended to serve multiple customers.

The contract includes funding for the initial design of LOXSAT 2, a full-scale operational depot intended for launch in 2025. LOXSAT 2 will provide liquid oxygen and RP-1 to refuel the upper stages of multiple small launch vehicles.

Nation: USA
Type / Application: Technology
Operator: Eta Space
Contractors: Rocket Lab (bus); Eta Space (payload)
Configuration: Photon-LEO
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Lifetime: 9 months
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
LOXSAT 1 - 2024 OnS LC-1 ? Electron Photon-LEO


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