RTX’s (NYSE: RTX) small-satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), announces successful launch and initial contact with CubeSats for the NASA Starling mission, a technology demonstration aimed at proving the success of cooperative groups of spacecraft operating in an autonomous, synchronous manner or “swarm.”
BCT provided four 6U CubeSats to NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology program which is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley for the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. The Starling mission is advancing the readiness of various technologies for cooperative groups of spacecraft by demonstrating technologies to enable multipoint science data collection by several small spacecraft flying together. The six-month mission will specifically test onboard swarm maneuver planning and execution, communications networking, relative navigation, and autonomous coordination between satellites.
“We continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” said John Carvo, Executive Director of CubeSats at BCT. “By providing heritage hardware for a demonstration such as this, we’re continually optimizing low-costs and quick turns for small constellation programs.”
The satellites will be positioned in a nearly sun-synchronous, low-Earth orbit, with all four spacecraft actively engaged in the experiment.
BCT delivered the first satellite for the mission in 2021. In addition to manufacturing the satellites, BCT is providing operations support for the Starling mission, named after the bird famous for flying in a synchronous or “swarm” formation. Work on this program was performed in Lafayette, Colorado.
About Blue Canyon Technologies
Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT), RTX’s small-satellite manufacturer and mission services provider, 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.
RTX is the world’s largest aerospace and defense company. With more than 180,000 global employees, we push the limits of technology and science to redefine how we connect and protect our world. Through industry-leading businesses – Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon – we are advancing aviation, engineering integrated defense systems for operational success, and developing next-generation technology solutions and manufacturing to help global customers address their most critical challenges. The company, with 2022 sales of $67 billion, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.