by Debra Werner with Space News — February 12, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO –Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) announced plans Feb. 12 to supply its X-SAT small satellite for Made In Space’s Archinaut One on-orbit manufacturing demonstration mission.
“The implications of our ability to conduct 3D printing in space are endless and we’re proud to partner with Made In Space to make this mission a reality,” George Stafford, BCT founder and CEO, said in a statement. “More and more we’re finding that our spacecraft bus capabilities are enabling increasingly innovative technologies, changing the new space frontier and how we can leverage it.”
For the Archinaut One mission, BCT will assemble and functionally test X-SAT, its largest satellite bus, prior to delivering it to Made In Space. Made In Space will perform payload integration and space vehicle testing, Brian Crum, BCT spacecraft systems engineer, said by email. BCT declined to comment on the value of its contract with Made In Space.
BCT also is supplying X-SAT to MethaneSAT, a subsidiary of the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund, for an environmental monitoring satellite scheduled to launch in 2022. BCT advertises X-SAT on its website as a 250-kilogram class satellite with a deployable solar array that provides 400 watts of peak power.
NASA awarded Made In Space a $73.7 million contract to additively manufacture a pair of ten-meter beams onboard the Archinaut One satellite scheduled to launch no earlier than 2022. In orbit, Archinaut One’s onboard robotic arm will integrate the solar arrays with its power system. If all goes as planned, the Archinaut One arrays will produce five times the power of similar ESPA-class satellites, according to the news release.
BCT has expanded rapidly in recent years to keep up with growing demand for satellite components, satellite buses and mission operations from its Boulder, Colorado, headquarters. BCT is building more than 60 spacecraft for government, commercial and academic missions. The company, which has doubled in size over the past 12 months, plans to open an 80,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility in 2020.