PALO ALTO, CA, Oct. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider of commercial satellites, today announced that it is the industrial partner for a project in the running to be NASA's next Discovery mission. SSL will work for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to support Principal Investigator Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton, director of Arizona State University's (ASU) School of Earth and Space Exploration, in a mission to research Psyche, a massive asteroid made of iron and nickel, which is believed to be the only place in the solar system where a metal planetary core can be studied.
"The Psyche mission represents the first time that SSL will be the primary industrial partner for a Discovery-class NASA exploration mission," said John Celli, president of SSL. "This growing position as a supplier to NASA reflects our success in demonstrating how SSL can help the agency meet its goal of bringing the benefits of commercial industry to its missions."
Recent successes as a subsystems provider have helped SSL prove its value to NASA. The company provided the propulsion system for NASA's Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft, which successfully ended its 100-day mission in 2014.
The NASA Discovery Program goal is to deepen the knowledge of our solar system by launching modest cost-capped missions on a routine cadence. The Psyche mission concept was one of five selected for comprehensive study via Phase A contracts.
SSL will support JPL, working within a multi-institution team to conduct concept design studies and analyses. Based on the results, in late 2016 NASA will select one or two of the five Discovery missions for flight, to launch in the early 2020s.
For the Psyche mission, SSL would provide the "power-propulsion chassis," a highly capable composite structure spacecraft bus equipped with a high-power electric propulsion system. The basic spacecraft design has been proven on 100 missions, and it will have the performance to deliver the science package and beam back the results.
Space Systems/Loral (SSL) is a leading provider of commercial satellites with broad expertise to support satellite operators and innovative space related missions. The company designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband Internet, mobile communications, and Earth observation. As a Silicon Valley innovator for more than 50 years, SSL's advanced product line also includes state-of-the-art small satellites, and sophisticated robotics and automation solutions for remote operations. For more information, visit www.sslmda.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements and information, which reflect the current view of Space Systems/Loral (SSL) with respect to future events and financial performance. When used in this news release, the words "believes", "expects", "plans", "may", "will", "would", "could", "should", "anticipates", "estimates", "project", "intend" or "outlook" or other variations of these words or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. Actual results may differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Known risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: risks associated with operating satellites and providing satellite services, including satellite construction or launch delays, launch failures, in-orbit failures or impaired satellite performance; risks associated with satellite manufacturing, including competition, cyclicality of SSL's end-user markets, contractual risks, creditworthiness of customers, performance of suppliers and management of SSL's factory and personnel; risk associated with financial factors such as volatility in exchange rates, increases in interest rates, restrictions on access to capital, and swings in global financial markets; risks associated with domestic and foreign government regulation, including export controls and economic sanctions; and other risks, including litigation. The foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The information contained in this news release reflects SSL's beliefs, assumptions, intentions, plans and expectations as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, SSL disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise the information herein.