Blue Canyon Technologies LLC has reportedly been selected by Ball Aerospace & Technologies for developing X-SAT Venus, a standardized ESPA-class microsatellite bus, and many custom components for NASA’s upcoming Solar Cruiser project.
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama will lead the mission Solar Cruiser: “Sailing on Sunlight”. Ball Aerospace will perform multiple functions critical to the mission, which includes the integration and testing of the solar sail system and the satellite bus that will form the complete Sailcraft.
Other collaborators of the mission include NeXolve, Roccor, Purdue University, the University of Alabama, and SDL.
According to the space agency, Solar Cruiser will help in the growth of solar sail propulsion technology to allow short-term, compelling space science missions for NASA as well as the country. The agency expects to officially confirm the Solar Cruiser mission next year.
Stephen Steg, the Chief Executive Officer of Blue Canyon Technologies commented that the company designs high-performance components, spacecraft, and systems to cater to each specific need of the mission.
Blue Canyon will support control software and custom guidance navigation and offer custom solar arrays for the mission slated to launch no earlier than 2025.
Solar Cruiser will rideshare with three other missions with NASA’s IMAP (Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe) launch. This mission is the pinnacle of twenty years of solar sail development in the U.S. and will enable space missions across newer locations.
For the record, Blue Canyon is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies and provides a divergent portfolio of reliable, innovative, and economic spacecraft that facilitates a wide range of missions and tech advancements for the new space economy, curbing the obstacles of space entry.
Currently, the company is backing close to 50 distinct missions with more than 90 spacecraft, all under production at its newly developed facility in Lafayette, Colorado.