Maxar is set to build the power and propulsion element of the Lunar Gateway, which is based on the company’s SSL 1300 platform, which provides the flexibility to use a myriad of subsystems. (Image credit: Maxar via BusinessWire)


Colorado-based Maxar Technologies have announced NASA has contracted ($375-million) them to develop the power and propulsion element of the Lunar Gateway- a lunar orbital outpost that will allow astronauts to explore new locations all over the moon. Maxar’s power and propulsion element are based on the company’s SSL 1300 platform, which is a modular-like system that will provide the outpost with power, maneuvering capabilities, altitude control, communication systems, and initial docking capabilities.


Maxar CEO Dan Jablonsky explains, “Maxar Space Solutions is proud to play a critical role in enabling American astronauts to build a sustainable presence on the Moon. Our power and propulsion element partnership enable NASA to leverage Maxar’s commercial capabilities to cost-effectively expedite plans for sustainable exploration of the Moon, while also providing significant benefits to American industry. As a valuable part of Maxar, our Space Solutions group serves the global commercial and U.S. government satellite market.”


Maxar’s announcement also points out that a critical design of their power and propulsion element is their Roll Out Solar Array (ROSA)- a compact modular and scalable solar array that can be scaled up to 200kW and above for different operations. Maxar will be working with Blue Origin and Draper to design and build the spacecraft for demonstration, proving that their technology is sound, and is slated for a 2022 launch date.


The SSL 1300 platform is also the foundation of NASA’s Psyche mission, which aims to explore an all-metal asteroid out past Mars in 2026, as well as NASA’s Restore-L spacecraft, which is expected to refuel the Landsat-7 satellite in 2022.    


Have a story tip? Message me at: cabe(at)element14(dot)com