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As e-mobility accelerates, Kenya’s Bank, NCBA announces Ksh2 billion (over $16 million) in electric car loans The GPS-alternative constellation from Xona is supported by Lockheed

The primary body and structural part of the satellite, often known as the “spacecraft bus,” is where the payload as well as all scientific instruments are kept. Bus-derived satellites compete with specifically made satellites. Bus-derived satellites are typically modified to meet customer needs, such as with customized sensors or transponders,¬†needed to finalize a particular mission. They are frequently employed in geosynchronous satellites, especially communications satellites, but they are also sometimes used in spacecraft that are in lower orbits, such as low Earth orbit missions.

For the low-Earth orbit constellation of the US Space Development Agency, commonly abbreviated as SDA, Northrop Grumman unveiled on July 5 that it has chosen Airbus as its own¬†satellite bus supplier. One of the three businesses chosen by the Pentagon’s space agency to build each of the 42 satellites scheduled to launch in 2024, Northrop Grumman received a $692 million deal from SDA in February.

The satellite buses which are meant for the Transport Layer Tranche 1 will be made by Arlington, Virginia-based Airbus U.S. Space, and Defense. This mesh network of small satellites will support military surveillance, communications, and target tracking. SDA intends to deploy Tranche 1 satellites in the latter half of 2024.

The Airbus Arrow 450, a brand-new industrial platform that will be made at the Airbus OneWeb Satellites facility in Merritt Island, Florida, will be used by Northrop Grumman. A joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb owns the plant.

The Arrow 450 bus, which can scale from 300 kilos to 500 kilograms, is much bigger than the Arrow 150 utilized in the OneWeb constellation. According to Debra Facktor, who is in charge of Airbus U.S. Space and Defense’s U.S. space systems, Northrop Grumman is the company’s first client for the larger bus.

By the fall of 2023, the maiden Arrow 450 is expected to leave the factory, according to Facktor. She continued, “We’ve been developing the design for a while. Additionally, the plant is being modified to suit the increased security and processing needed for U.S. military satellites.”

More buses are being made by Airbus to finish the 648-satellite constellation that it has already produced more than 400 for OneWeb. In order to produce the larger Arrow 450, the company, according to Facktor, intends to use as much of the OneWeb distribution chain and partners as possible.

Buses integration, space vehicle commissioning, testing, and launch support services are all included in the deal Airbus has with Northrop Grumman. Blake Bullock, vice president of communication and strategic space solutions at Northrop Grumman, expressed his company’s happiness at having Airbus U.S. as one of its principal commercial suppliers for this important national security task.

As part of the Tranche 1 deal, Northrop Grumman is going to develop satellites that combine the Airbus platform with commercial and governmental payloads, including Mynaric optical communications terminals. The York Space Systems and Lockheed Martin are the other 2 key contractors for the Tranche 1. Terran Orbital satellite buses will be utilized by Lockheed Martin. York Space produces its buses on-site.

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