MarCO

BOULDER, Colorado – June 12, 2015 – Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been awarded a contract to provide the attitude control system for each of the two Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats that are being built by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The MarCO technology demonstration (the first-ever interplanetary CubeSats) will act as real-time data relays for the InSight lander as it descends through the Martian atmosphere.

Enabling the precision pointing required by the MarCO communication payload is BCT’s XACT (fleXible Attitude Control Technology) module, which utilizes a nano-star tracker, precision reaction wheels, and all associated electronics and software to provide the highest-performance CubeSat attitude determination and control system available.

Already designed to support virtually any low-earth-orbit mission, the XACT software has been augmented for MarCO to support deep-space navigation, including thruster control algorithms for momentum control and precision trajectory corrections throughout the journey to Mars.

XACT is flexible in that it supports not only CubeSats, but also much larger spacecraft as well, by using larger external actuators, also developed by BCT, resulting in substantial savings in cost and schedule over traditional spacecraft attitude control systems.

Blue Canyon Technologies, LLC is a privately held small business specializing in micro-sized spacecraft systems and components designed for large satellite constellations. BCT is uniquely focused on developing small spacecraft systems designed for high-volume manufacturing. We create high-performance, low-cost systems that leverage design manufacturing techniques from across the spectrum of aerospace and non-aerospace markets. These systems include satellites and components for classes of spacecraft including small, micro, nano, and CubeSat sizes. We specialize in precision pointing platforms based upon our high-performance Attitude Determination and Control components, integrated systems, and our CubeSat bus.

For more information on the MarCO mission, please visit:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4622