The classified secondary satellite, dubbed PODSat, was integrated into Spain’s Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite through the Payload Orbital Delivery System built by Maxar Technologies’ SSL subsidiary.
PODS is designed to facilitate the release of secondary payloads and works to support various missions such as Earth observation and space situational awareness efforts.
SSL developed PODS through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Phoenix program.
SSL partnered with NovaWurks to provide a rideshare arrangement for the PODSat payload aboard Hispasat.
NovaWurks developed PODSat through the use of cellular components, also known as satlets, that can be linked together to build custom payloads.
Wendy Lewis, a spokesperson for SSL, told the publication the launch is a research and development mission that is not associated with Hispasat’s ongoing operation.