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Aerospace Firm to Offer Plug-and-Play Microsatellite

Published by spacecowboy on Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:54 pm
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Space.com Astronotes, November 11
Tariq Malik

Aerospace Firm to Offer Plug-and-Play Microsatellite

The Poway, California-based aerospace firm SpaceDev is developing a new modular microsatellite for spacecraft customers looking for a low-cost platform.

Dubbed the SpaceDev Modular Microsat Bus (MMB-100), the 220-pound (100-kilogram) is based around standard Ethernet and USB port connections and is slated to cost less than $10 million.

“SpaceDev engineers have put a significant effort into developing a standards-based, high performance, modular, low-cost microsatellite,” said Jim Benson, the firm’s founding chairman and chief executive. “The SpaceDev MMB-100 provides a true plug and play capability, resulting in mission flexibility and reliability, at a very low price.”

The MMB-100 is expected to launch as a secondary satellite attached to the payload adapter ring of an expendable rocket, such as Boeing’s Delta 4 booster of Lockheed Martin’s Atlas 5 vehicle. The basic satellite – which could carry mission payloads of up to 40 kilograms and provide 80 watts of power – could also launch as a primary payload atop smaller rockets such as the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket or Orbital Sciences’ Pegasus Booster, SpaceDev officials said.

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