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IET Satcom 2018

Orbital ATK-designed satellites demonstrate affordable access to space for U.S. Air Force

(15 April 2018 - Orbital ATK) Orbital ATK designed the EAGLE (ESPA Augmented Geostationary Laboratory Experiment) experimental satellite for the U.S. Air Force’s AFSPC-11 mission that successfully launched on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V vehicle April 14 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The AFSCPC-11 mission included a second company designed satellite, Mycroft, which is among several Department of Defense experiments hosted on the EAGLE platform as separate payloads.

The EAGLE and Mycroft satellites are based on the company’s ESPAStar and ESPASat products, which provide modular, cost-effective and highly capable infrastructure resources for hosting technology development and operational payloads. The Orbital ATK-designed EAGLE satellite is the first spacecraft based on the company’s innovative ESPAStar platform. The ESPAStar vehicle can accommodate any combination of up to six hosted or 12 separable, free-flyer payloads in low and geosynchronous orbit and is built to provide an even greater level of access to space. Orbital ATK designed and delivered the EAGLE satellite under a contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate.

After a successful separation from the launch vehicle, EAGLE is hosting several Department of Defense payloads, including Mycroft, the second Orbital ATK-designed satellite to be deployed on the mission. Mycroft, a separable, fly-away experiment, utilized the company’s ESPASat platform for its flight. ESPASat is designed as an affordable GEO bus that can be launched as a secondary payload from an ESPAStar platform.

“Orbital ATK is proud to partner with the U.S. Air Force on the EAGLE and Mycroft missions,” said Chris Long, Vice President, National Security Systems at Orbital ATK. “Our unique capabilities to host separating and non-separating payloads represent a turning point in affordable access to space for small satellites and payloads.”

In addition to work performed at the company’s facility in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK sites in Commerce, California and Beltsville, Maryland provided tanks and heat pipes to the EAGLE and Mycroft satellites.

About Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK is a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies. The company designs, builds and delivers space, defense and aviation systems for customers around the world, both as a prime contractor and merchant supplier. Its main products include launch vehicles and related propulsion systems; missile products, subsystems and defense electronics; precision weapons, armament systems and ammunition; satellites and associated space components and services; and advanced aerospace structures. Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, Orbital ATK employs approximately 14,000 people across the U.S. and in several international locations.