Blue Canyon launches multiple spacecraft aboard Virgin Orbit

Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies based in Lafayette, CO, announced on July 14 the launch of Slingshot 1, MISR-B, and a government customer satellite, aboard Virgin Orbit on July 1, 2022.

Slingshot 1 is the first-ever Blue Canyon 12U CubeSat bus carrying 19 payloads to low Earth orbit. Built for Aerospace Corporation, the mission will demonstrate the accessibility of integrating numerous payloads into a single interface.

MISR-B is a 6U CubeSat bus, which Blue Canyon provided along with the radio, GPS, reaction wheels, torque rods, sun sensors, solar arrays, batteries, Guidance Navigation & Control System and power management. The program is intended to demonstrate a robust, responsive, multi-mission CubeSat capability to satisfy a varied set of requirements and provides significantly more power to the payload.

“Currently, there is not a widely accepted standard interface for payload integration,” said Jeff Schrader, President, Blue Canyon Technologies. “The mission’s success in orbit will show that all payloads, of large quantities, can plug into any small satellite, rather than customizing each interface.”

Blue Canyon is providing additional spacecraft buses and components for several missions set to launch this summer, including TROPICS, Starling, Artemis-1, and CIRCE, a historic Virgin Orbit launch. Teaming with U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and U.K. Defense Science Technology Laboratory, Blue Canyon will provide twin 6U CubeSats, that will fly in a circular orbit to measure Earth’s ionosphere and particle radiation environment. CIRCE, Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction CubeSat Experiment, will be the first U.K. satellite to launch from Spaceport Cornwall in Newquay.

Source: Blue Canyon

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