Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, today announced the launch of eight avionics systems aboard Artemis 1 on Nov. 16, 2022.
Artemis 1 is the first test flight of NASA’s new Space Launch System (“SLS”) rocket to send an uncrewed Orion capsule to lunar orbit. Orion is spending approximately six weeks in space before returning to Earth on Dec. 28. In addition to the Orion spacecraft, the SLS rocket is carrying 10 CubeSats that will deploy to perform their own technology demonstrations and scientific investigations for numerous missions.
Of the ten CubeSats aboard, Blue Canyon provided eight avionics systems, including its XACT-15, XACT-50, and XB1 Avionics. The company’s components are equipped with a powerful processing core that enables CubeSats to point with the highest accuracy. The hardware was delivered five years ago for numerous customer payloads, including multiple foreign customers.
“The Artemis 1 CubeSats all have unique needs, and BCT is proud to be able to support these missions with common designs and solutions.” said Matt Pallas, Executive Director of Component Programs at Blue Canyon Technologies. “We’re looking forward to supporting our NASA, domestic, and international customers as they expand the frontiers of small satellite technology.”
Blue Canyon is providing additional spacecraft buses and components for another upcoming historic launch, CIRCE, scheduled for late 2022. Teaming with U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and U.K. Defense Science Technology Laboratory, Blue Canyon will provide twin 6U CubeSats that will fly in a circular orbit to measure Earth’s ionosphere and particle radiation environment. CIRCE, Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction CubeSat Experiment, will be the first U.K. satellite to launch from Spaceport Cornwall in Newquay on Virgin Orbit.
Work on the avionics systems aboard Artemis 1 was completed at Blue Canyon Technologies facilities in Boulder, Colorado.
Raytheon Technologies’ majority-owned joint venture RGNext provided launch and range services for the mission at its eastern range location.
About Blue Canyon Technologies
Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, is comprised of four business units: CubeSats, Microsats, Components, and Mission Operations. BCT offers a diverse portfolio of innovative, reliable, and affordable spacecraft and components that enable a broad range of missions and technological advancements for the new space economy. The company currently supports numerous unique missions with over 100 cumulative spacecraft orders. Microsatellites are manufactured at the 80,000 sq-ft Lafayette facility and CubeSats and components are manufactured in 40,000 sq-ft of dedicated facilities in Boulder, Colorado.
BCT has supported missions for the U.S. Air Force, NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and provided the Attitude Control Systems for the first interplanetary CubeSats, which successfully traveled to Mars. The company has been recognized with awards from Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies, the Best in Biz Award and the 2020 Tibbetts Award.
About Raytheon Intelligence & Space
Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, delivers the disruptive technologies our customers need to succeed in any domain, against any challenge. A developer of advanced sensors, cyber services and software solutions, Raytheon Intelligence & Space provides a decisive advantage to civil, military and commercial customers around the world. For more information, visit www.raytheonintelligenceandspace.com.