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General Atomics, Rocket Lab Partnership to Launch Data Collection Tech Aboard Orbital Test Bed Satellite


General Atomics' electromagnetic systems business has secured a contract of an undisclosed sum from the U.S. Space Force through the Hosted Payload Solutions delivery order to launch a data collection payload aboard the Orbital Test Bed satellite.

The company said Wednesday it has partnered with California-based small satellite launch service provider Rocket Lab to lift off the Argos-4 Advanced Data Collection System, a technology built to gather information from transmitters and sensors worldwide.

Nick Bucci, vice president of GA-EMS' missile defense and space systems unit, said the team will deploy the satellite to low-earth orbit using Rocket Lab's Electron launch vehicle.

"The flexible, modular OTB platform used for Argos-4 continues to demonstrate its versatility both in terms of payload integration and launch vehicle integration and compliance, enabling a cost-efficient solution to meet a wide variety of requirements," he commented.

The team plans to carry out the launch between late 2021 and early 2022.

According to General Atomics, the Argos-4 mission is a part of NOAA's Cooperative Data and Rescue Services effort.

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