Plans are being formulated for Northrop Grumman's upcoming launch of the OmegA space launch vehicle.
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced that Saturn Satellite Networks (SSN) has selected the OmegA space launch vehicle to launch up to two satellites on the rocket’s inaugural flight scheduled for spring 2021. OmegA will launch from Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B and insert the SSN satellites into a geosynchronous transfer orbit.
Last October, the U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman a $792 million Launch Services Agreement to complete detailed design and verification of the OmegA launch vehicle and launch sites.
Scott Lehr, vice president and general manager, flight systems, Northrop Grumman stated that the OmegA rocket expands Northrop Grumman’s launch capabilities beyond their small and medium class rockets, which have successfully launched nearly 80 missions. Expanding the company’s launch capabilities to the intermediate/heavy class with OmegA complements their national security satellite portfolio and enables them to better support their customers.
Jim Simpson, CEO of Saturn, said, they are excited to launch Saturn’s NationSat on Northrop Grumman’s OmegA launch vehicle’s inaugural mission. OmegA’s performance, payload accommodations, and rigorous certification program assures them it is a great fit for NationSats and their customers.
Charlie Precourt, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman added that having Saturn’s NationSat on board for this mission further demonstrates the versatility of OmegA to serve other markets including commercial and civil government.
Precourt continued, that their customer’s mission comes first, whether OmegA is launching a commercial satellite or a national security payload. At the end of the day, they deliver the customer’s spacecraft where it needs to go.
Precourt added that Northrop Grumman designed OmegA to use the most reliable propulsion available — solid propulsion for the boost stages and flight proven RL10 engines for the upper stage — to ensure exceptional mission assurance for their customers . Northrop Grumman’s technical expertise is both broad and deep, and they bring unmatched experience, stability and a strong customer focus to every partnership.
Northrop Grumman's history in space launch includes in 1990, the company developed Pegasus™, the world’s first privately developed space launch system. Additionally, the company’s Minotaur launch vehicle has achieved 100 percent success on its 18 space missions and nine suborbital missions. Northrop Grumman’s Antares™ rocket has launched more than 70,000 pounds of food, equipment and supplies to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.