Thales Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales (67 percent) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (33 percent), have divulged that their ELiTeBUS™1000 satellite platform has been accepted by the Rapid Spacecraft Development Office (RSDO) in the prestigious Rapid III Catalog that is managed by Goddard Space Flight Center.
With this award, Thales Alenia Space is validated as a trusted European satellite manufacturer in the US catalog, which already includes the PRIMA platform. Designed and developed in France, ELiTeBUS™1000 has been built on the flight heritage of the PROTEUS platform that served various radar, altimetry, optical and astronomy missions, including CNES-ESA and NASA missions JASON 1/2/3, CALIPSO, SMOS, and COROT.
ELiTeBUS™ 1000 benefits from the merging of Proteus concepts, with successful design evolutions optimized for performance and manufacturing, allowing for the carrying of as many as 12 satellites under the fairing of heavy launchers and demonstrated on Globalstar 1 and 2, O3B and Iridium NEXT.
ELiTeBUS™1000 is suitable for LEO and MEO missions with payload capability up to 350 kg, maximum power of 1.5 KW with a life time expectancy of up to 12 years. The propulsion system relies on 9 catalyst thrusters providing 1 Newton thrust each, and a 164 Kg hydrazine tank. The platform's state of the art avionic architecture is built around the processor LEON 3 for fast data processing.
ELiTeBUS™1000 is compatible with Falcon 9, Atlas 5, Soyuz, and Vega. Thanks to this award, Thales Alenia Space increases their opportunities to bid in the US Institutional market on future Request for Offers for standard services in the Rapid III contract, and enhances the platform's visibility in the commercial market as reliable partner with highest quality standards.
FYI, the Rapid Spacecraft Development Office is responsible for the management and direction of a program that directs the definition, competition, and acquisition of multiple fixed-price Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts. These contracts offer NASA and other Federal Government Agencies fast and flexible procurement of spacecraft and spacecraft component for future missions. Standard services in the Rapid III contract include: spacecraft build and test, integration and test of the payloads, delivery to the launch site, support of launch site operations, support of early orbit operations, and on-orbit check out and acceptance.