NASA Ames Research Brings Blue Canyon Technologies Onboard for Smallsat Tech Demo Mission

Small spacecraft manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been selected by NASA’s Ames Research Center to support a technology demonstration mission called Starling, under NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program.

Under this contract agreement, BCT will design, manufacture and provide engineering support during commissioning for 4 flight-qualified 6U cubesats.

The goal of the Starling mission will be to prove out the capability of affordable, distributed spacecraft missions, or large aggregations called “swarms,” in LEO. The starling bird is famous for flying in a swarm formation.

Artistic rendition of Blue Canyon’s microsat smallsat.

Image is courtesy of the company.

As small spacecraft increase in accuracy and capability, flight-qualifying swarm technology benefits the industry as a whole by giving access to low cost, highly capable platforms that can operate from the near-Earth to the deep space environments.

Starling is expected to launch in mid-2021.

Blue Canyon’s diverse spacecraft platform has the proven capability to enable a broad range of missions and technological advances for the New Space economy, further reducing the barriers of space entry.

BCT is currently building more than 60 spacecraft for government, commercial and academic missions. The company has doubled in size over the past 12 months and plans to open its new 80,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility in 2020.

Nick Monahan, Systems Engineer at Blue Canyon Technologies, said that, ultimately, swarm technology will enable a new way to explore the vastness of space as well as the complexity of the solar system. BCT is honored to contribute to making the technology possible.

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