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Viasat Taps Rocket Lab to Deliver Spacecraft Bus for Flight Communication Demonstration

Viasat Taps Rocket Lab to Deliver Spacecraft Bus for Flight Communication Demonstration
Flight demonstration

Viasat has selected Rocket Lab to build and deliver a satellite bus for a flight communications demonstration mission that would showcase the ability of the former’s multi-band space-relay capabilities to support low Earth orbit missions.

Rocket Lab’s spacecraft bus will provide communications, propulsion and attitude control for the flight demonstration scheduled for launch in 2026 as part of Viasat’s two contracts under NASA’s Communications Services Project worth $80 million in total, Viasat said Thursday.

The satellite will feature Rocket Lab-built spacecraft components and sub-systems, including S-band radios, solar panels, flight and ground software and the new L-band radio being developed for Inmarsat‘s InCommand telemetry, command and control service.

The Viasat demonstration will include direct-to-ground communications through the company’s Real-Time Earth service for S-, X- and Ka-band networks.

“From Earth observation and scientific missions to supporting defense operations, we designed our space relay services to be a highly flexible, cost effective and scalable solution for both government and commercial LEO operators to transport data based on application and mission needs,” said Michael Maughan, vice president of space and mission systems at Viasat’s government systems division.

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Written by Naomi Cooper

is a full-time writer for ArchIntel, a division of Executive Mosaic, and a contributor for ExecutiveBiz. She covers emerging technologies, technology innovation, contract awards, partnerships and market expansion stories in the government contracting industry.

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