Blue Canyon Technologies Building New HaloSat Spacecraft

Blue Canyon Technologies Building New HaloSat Spacecraft. Image Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies

Blue Canyon Technologies Building New HaloSat Spacecraft. Image Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies

November 13, 2016 – Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has recently been awarded a contract to build and test a new 6U-class satellite. Funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, BCT will deliver the spacecraft bus, ready for instrumentation, to the HaloSat project, which is funded by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Wallops Flight Facility.

BCT’s XB spacecraft is a high-performance small satellite that includes an ultra-precise attitude control system that allows for accurate knowledge and fine-pointing of the satellite payload. This mission builds upon the success of BCT’s recent performance on the MinXSS spacecraft, which is completing its 6th month on-orbit. BCT is currently working on over fifteen different spacecraft missions that use its high-performance XB spacecraft bus.

HaloSat is a CubeSat that will measure soft X-ray emissions from the halo of the Milky Way galaxy. The sum of baryons observed in the local universe falls short of the number measured at the time of the cosmic microwave background -— the “missing baryon” problem. HaloSat should help determine if the missing baryons reside in the hot halos surrounding galaxies. The HaloSat mission is led by the University of Iowa Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Philip Kaaret. The team from the University of Iowa in collaboration with NASA Goddard’s Space Flight Center, and Johns Hopkins University will be developing the science instrument for the HaloSat mission.

Located in Boulder, Colorado, Blue Canyon Technologies is developing a new environmental test facility, increasing manufacturing output, and creating a satellite ground-station for single to constellation-sized missions. Working with a grant from the state of Colorado, BCT has been increasing its spacecraft production and test capabilities. BCT is now providing end-to-end mission solutions for their customers.

“BCT was recently recognized as the fastest growing privately owned engineering company in the United States. We are providing key technology to enable and expand the world’s small satellite market. The HaloSat mission will be another important science mission that BCT’s spacecraft bus will help make possible.”, said BCT’s President, George Stafford.

The HaloSat mission is expected to launch in 2018 via the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative.