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Ball Aerospace Names Microsoft, Loft Federal as Partners on SDA’s ‘NExT’ Experimental Testbed Program

Ball Aerospace Names Microsoft, Loft Federal as Partners on SDA’s 'NExT' Experimental Testbed Program - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Ball Aerospace will work with Microsoft and Loft Federal on a Space Development Agency program to build and launch into orbit a set of 10 satellites with experimental payloads.

Ball Aerospace said Tuesday it will lead spacecraft and payload integration for SDA’s NExT experimental testbed program under a $176 million other transaction prototype agreement awarded in October.

Under the partnership, Loft Federal will conduct spacecraft integration and testing activities, acquire commercial launch services, lead the launch campaign and operate the satellites in orbit.

Loft Federal will help the team meet the NExT program’s mission requirements using its satellite operations software, dubbed Cockpit, and Longbow satellite bus.

Following the constellation’s launch, Microsoft will provide its Azure Government cloud platform, ground stations and productivity tools to support mission-critical communications.

“Ball Aerospace is leveraging our strong relationships with Loft Federal and Microsoft, which will enable us to streamline our assembly and integration process and move quickly to deliver capabilities to SDA,” said Dave Kaufman, president of Ball Aerospace.

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Written by Jane Edwards

is a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, where she writes for ExecutiveBiz about IT modernization, cybersecurity, space procurement and industry leaders’ perspectives on government technology trends.

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