Boeing

Stacked Satellites Tested for the Rigors of Space

January 26, 2015 in Space

New product line, new patent: Boeing completes first-ever stack and test of the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellites

Being the first at something is not new to Boeing. In 1963, Syncom II, the world’s first geosynchronous satellite, was launched into space and placed into orbit around the Earth. At the time the scientists responsible for the creation and design of Syncom worked for Hughes Space and Communications in California, a Boeing legacy company.

Now more than 50 years later, Boeing has completed another first – the world’s first all-electric propulsion satellites, the Boeing 702SP (small platform) – and Boeing built two of them to launch as a pair.

To ensure the satellites could withstand the force of a launch, the two satellites were stacked and tested at the Boeing Satellite Development Center in El Segundo, Calif. This stacked configuration was made possible by the use of a Boeing patented, customized interface providing another industry first for commercial communication satellites of this size and class. Boeing received the patent from the U.S. government on Dec. 23, 2014, for the “Multi Space Vehicle Launch System.”

Built for customers Bermuda-based ABS and Paris-based Eutelsat, the satellites will launch next month on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Check out the video to see the stacking and vibration testing of the 702SPs.