Northrop Grumman has launched a modular space vehicle with plug-and-play capability as part of a $50 million task order from the Operationally Responsive Space Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
The satellite is expected to meet the need for compact satellites that allow quick assembly for short-term space missions, the company said Wednesday.
“MSV provides ways for future development of rapid response space capabilities that will be timely, cost-efficient and flexible,” said Doug Young, vice president for missile defense and advanced missions at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.
“A satellite bus contains the support structure and control subsystems that allow the payload to perform its mission,” he added.
Northrop listed other features of the MSV bus:
Operates in low-Earth, medium-Earth and geosynchronous orbits
Supported by different launch vehicles
Delivers on different kinds of payload
At least one to seven years of performance
Adjustable power subsystem and payload
Plug-and-play interfaces allowing common test equipment across missions
The Northrop Grumman-led team that built the MSV in 30 months includes Design Net Engineering, Microcosm, Advanced Defense Systems, Space Dynamics Laboratory and Applied Technology Associates, which performed integration and testing.
Northrop said it has also applied the MSV capabilities to the MSV/Eagle-1M spacecraft bus product.