Dutch Space to Build Solar Arrays for Orbital's Cygnus
Dutch Space Selected By Orbital Sciences Corporation to Supply Solar Arrays for International Space Station Resupply System
Orbital’s Cygnus Spacecraft to be Powered with Dutch Space’s State-of-the-Art Technology
Leiden, The Netherlands / Dulles, VA, 12 November 2009 – Dutch Space, leading space company in the Netherlands, signed a contract with Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) for the development of solar arrays for NASA’s new cargo missions to the International Space Station (ISS) to be carried out under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) project. The more than USD 35 million contract covers the design, manufacturing, assembly, integration and testing of the solar arrays for nine pressurized cargo missions to the ISS.
Dutch Space is Orbital’s prime contractor for the development of the solar arrays for the CygnusTM spacecraft, the centerpiece of Orbital’s automated cargo delivery service for NASA’s logistic support to the ISS. The initial demonstration flight in 2011 will be carried out as part of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) project, which provided NASA incentives to the developing commercial launch services industry. Eight operational CRS cargo delivery missions are planned as part of the CRS project, starting in late 2011.
“Orbital is pleased to once again team with Dutch Space on an important project for NASA,” said Mr. Bob Richards, Orbital’s Vice President and Cygnus Program Director. “Our successful collaboration on the Dawn interplanetary spacecraft for NASA gave us confidence that we can count on Dutch Space to support the Cygnus program.”
Dutch Space has a track record in designing and building solar arrays for ISS cargo spacecrafts. Bart Reijnen, CEO of Dutch Space: “The contract awarded by Orbital is a milestone for Dutch Space as it emphasizes that our flight-proven heritage is recognized world wide. Over the last thirty years and particularly through our contribution to the European Autonomous Transfer Vehicle ATV, we’ve gained profound knowledge of the challenging requirements to solar arrays for an ISS resupply spacecraft. We look forward to working on this prestigious American space project together with Orbital.”
The moment of berthing of the Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS requires unique solar array features in terms of stiffness and fatigue. The design of Dutch Space’s solar arrays for Cygnus is based on qualified structural and mechanical building blocks, not only meeting all safety requirements that are imposed by a manned mission such as ISS, but also combining very high stiffness with low mass. An inventively designed strut arm provides additional support and fixes the array between the first and second panel to CygnusTM . This strut increases the stiffness and limits undesirable vibrations of the solar array.
For this new project Dutch Space will work together with two American solar suppliers: ATK will provide the solar panel substrates and Emcore will deliver the photovoltaic cells. They will equip the panels with ZTJ gallium cells with the highest available efficiency and optimized for the short duration of the COTS/CRS mission. For the actual building of the arrays - the mechanical parts such as the joints between the panels, the struts and plume shields - Dutch Space interacts with Dutch suppliers such as Neways, Brandt FMI, Leuveco, Ramaer and Avek.
About Orbital Science Corporation
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories.
About Dutch Space
Dutch Space B.V., leading space company in the Netherlands, is supplier of high quality subsystems and products for the international space industry. Since its founding in 1968, the company has contributed to major space programs and built up comprehensive expertise in segments like earth observation, telecommunication and space science. Dutch Space is fully owned by EADS Astrium and operating as subsidiary within Astrium Satellites’ business division Subsystems and Equipments as off 2006. The portfolio of Dutch Space comprises solar arrays, launcher structures, instruments, verification & simulation and descent & landing. Today, Leiden based Dutch Space employs a team of 220 experienced and passionate professionals.
Ms. H. van Leeuwen, Communications manager
T: +31 (0)71-5245126
M: +31 (0)6-37002864