General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) said April 9 it opened a new spacecraft development, integration and test factory outside of Denver.
The new facility includes over 33,000 square feet, with modern laboratories and secure facilities in Centennial, Colorado. It triples the company’s capacity for satellite production, integration and testing for single to constellation-sized orders, per the Thursday announcement.
“Colorado is home to the nation’s second largest space economy, and we are excited to continue to expand our development, production and mission capabilities in the region to meet the growing needs of the military, intelligence community, civil and commercial satellite communities,” said GA-EMS President Scott Forney. “With this new, contemporary facility, we can readily produce the quantities needed to meet the critical demand for small satellites in the rapidly growing space industry.”
The new Centennial factory also includes an expanded mission operations center to support on-orbit satellite and customer payload commissioning and operations.
“This facility provides the ability to enhance our portfolio of cost-efficient, flexible small satellite platforms, payloads, and integrated systems,” said Nick Bucci, company vice president of missile defense and space systems.
The company noted systems such as its Orbital Test Bed satellite “are large enough to viably perform a variety of missions including weather and environmental monitoring, and lunar and planetary exploration, while small enough to be developed swiftly and affordably in large quantities. ”
Last year, the Orbital Test Bed satellite was launched on a Space X Falcon Heavy space vehicle as part of the then-Air Force’s Space Technology Program 2 (STP-2), which has since been taken over by the Space Force. It carried multiple hosted payloads to include: NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate’s deep space atomic clock, designed and built at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to support deep space navigation and exploration; a modular solar array developed for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL); and an integrated miniaturized electrostatic analyzer sensor payload developed by cadets at the Air Force Academy, among other technologies.