Pentagon awards $200 million spacecraft contract to private venture York

1 min


168
107 shares, 168 points

The S-CLASS platform, designed for missions for a wide variety of government and commercial customers.

York Space Systems

Spacecraft manufacturer York Space Systems won a Pentagon contact worth up to $200 million, announced Thursday, to build experimental satellites for the military’s Space Development Agency (SDA).

Known as the T1DES system, York will build and operate 12 prototype satellites that will test satellite communications from low Earth Orbit, as an addition to the “Tranche 1 Transport Layer” (T1TL) network that SDA is already building. York previously won $328 million as part of a larger contract to build satellites for T1TL.

“We are very appreciative to have the continued trust of SDA in helping to fulfill their vision of the future,” York founder and CEO Dirk Wallinger said in a statement.

York earlier this week announced new private equity ownership and investment by AE Industrial Partners and BlackRock. As CNBC reported on Tuesday, the deal makes York the latest space unicorn – with a valuation over $1 billion.

SDA director Derek Tournear said during a press briefing on Thursday that work on the T1DES satellites will begin shortly, with launches planned for 2025 and the program’s timeline of flight operations extending out to 2031.

Sign up here to receive weekly editions of CNBC’s Investing in Space newsletter.

Tournear explained that T1DES is experimental since the system will attempt to use satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) to demonstrate communications capabilities currently served by satellites in geosynchronous orbit (GEO).

“There are actually a lot of technical challenges that we need to prove out to show that the technology can be applied from moving it from geosynchronous down to LEO,” Tournear said.

SDA received six bids for the T1DES contract, Tournear noted before declining to comment on the price ranges of the other companies’ bids. At less than $17 million per satellite, Tournear said “the York solution came back to be very affordable.”

The Space Force acquisition group is now focused on building its Transport Layer system, although SDA has already seen supply chain issues from the various companies under contract.

“Every day we continue to chase down gremlins to make sure that we can get the parts and and the labor needed to deliver on time,” Tournear said.

Source: CNBC


Like it? Share with your friends!

168
107 shares, 168 points

What's Your Reaction?

Cute Cute
2
Cute
Fun Fun
21
Fun
Hate Hate
16
Hate
Confused Confused
5
Confused
Fail Fail
24
Fail
Geeky Geeky
18
Geeky
Love Love
10
Love
OMG OMG
5
OMG
Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format