December 22, 2015 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has successfully completed the solar array deployment and initial on-orbit checkout phase as planned for all 11 satellites launched for ORBCOMM’s Generation 2 (OG2) Mission 2. The communication satellites were launched on December 21, 2015 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on a dedicated SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launch utilized an innovative configuration of three stacked EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) Grande rings to carry the eleven satellites to orbit.
“The initial results of the on-orbit performance of the spacecraft have met or exceeded our performance criteria,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems. “I would like to thank all the members of our spacecraft systems team as well as our payload subcontractor, Boeing, for delivering this next-generation satellite system. We also want to express our appreciation to ORBCOMM for this opportunity to provide these 17 satellites over the past year and two launches, allowing them to offer their subscribers a more enhanced and efficient network capacity. We are proud to have led such an extraordinary team for the OG2 program and to enable this next generation constellation mission.”
SNC is the prime contractor and spacecraft bus manufacturer for OG2, completing all design, manufacturing and integration at SNC’s facility in Louisville, Colorado. The first six OG2 mission satellites were launched on July 14, 2045. Once the final 11 satellites are phased into their final orbital positions, the constellation will be complete.
Similar to management of the 2014 launch, SNC will provide ORBCOMM on-orbit servicing and operations support from SNC’s Satellite Operations Center in Louisville, Colorado, in addition to on-site support at the ORBCOMM Network Control Center in Sterling, Virginia.
“We’d like to thank SNC for their hard work and dedication to making this mission a success,” said Marc Eisenberg, ORBCOMM’s chief executive officer. “We are pleased with the initial operation of the spacecraft and look forward to integrating the recently-launched satellites into the constellation. This launch solidifies the exponential growth of ORBCOMM’s network capacity.”
All OG2 spacecraft are based on SNC’s flight-proven SN-100 satellite bus, which can be tailored to support a variety of applications, including communication, Earth observation, weather and space science. The SN-100 is designed for a five-year-minimum life and utilizes a modular payload deck that can be rapidly integrated and tested using highly automated scripts to test all functions. This allows the baseline satellite to be quickly and cost-effectively configured to meet the needs of many customers.