LeoStella, a specialized satellite constellation design and manufacturer, has delivered their first, two, fully manufactured satellites from the firm’s state-of-the-art production line.
The satellites are the fifth and sixth of an ongoing Earth Observation (EO) constellation program for the global monitoring company, BlackSky.
LeoStella’s intelligent manufacturing facility opened in 2019 and is the first of its kind. The satellites were delivered to the launch facility on June 1, 2020, and have been prepared for an upcoming SpaceX launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. LeoStella’s ability to minimize costs and reduce development and manufacturing time helps meet the increasing demand for satellite constellations in a time sensitive ecosystem.
LeoStella’s new production facility was developed to change the way satellites and constellations are produced to better meet the needs of agile space customers. The factory is a fully digital and networked environment that includes intelligent workstations, connected tools, automated test equipment, statistical process control, embedded product assurance, and a custom Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) backbone that manages and tracks all activities. Coupled with the manufacturing process is a robust supply chain of industry leaders with a focus on advanced technologies that help LeoStella offer an exceptional value proposition for its customers.
The satellites weigh approximately 50-kilograms and are designed to be operated in a variety of LEO orbit altitudes and inclinations. They are compatible with a wide range of rideshare and dedicated launch vehicles. The satellites are based on a product optimized for imaging missions with high resolution, agility and stability and can be configured for alternate missions and payloads.
Based in Tukwila, Washington, LeoStella is a joint venture between Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries.
“Successful delivery of these two BlackSky satellites marks another major milestone in LeoStella’s promise of rapid, low-cost, high-performance satellite constellations,” said Mike Hettich, CEO of LeoStella. “In a short time, we have created the designs, infrastructure, tools, and processes that enable constellation production at scale. Delivery of these satellites provides an important validation of our approach. It’s exciting to see the team bring our vision to reality.”
“LeoStella is a key partner in extending our global monitoring constellation,” said Brian O’Toole, CEO of BlackSky. “Their intelligent design and inventive manufacturing have established LeoStella as a leader in new space economics. Consequently, we’re able to deliver valuable first-to-know insights at a cost that makes it accessible for both business and government customers.”