On-orbit, the ICM will produce the necessary power and fuel for the International Space Station's attitude control system during the initial assembly of the station. NRL was awarded the ICM contract by the Navy as a backup to the Russian built service module. TecStar was the only supplier that could meet the critical delivery schedule. The Company successfully managed several changes to the ten different solar panel designs that used six different solar cell sizes while exceeding the quality expectations of the customer.
In more company news, TecStar continues to make shipments to a number of its key customers. The 34th and final shipset of solar array panels was delivered to Orbcomm as part of their "Countdown to Global Service" mobile data communications satellite network. Also, large GaAs/Ge solar array panels have been delivered to Space Systems/Loral in support of MT-SAT and FS 1300 bus programs.
In addition, TecStar completed delivery on major quantities of solar cells for Lockheed Martin. This completes requirements for the Iridium satellite constellation as well as GPS program. TecStar also signed a contract for production of GaAs/Ge cells plus allied materials for ISRO's new INSAT 3 series of spacecraft and will provide solar panels to NEC of Japan in support of the MDS-1 spacecraft.
TecStar Inc. was founded in 1955 as the country's first supplier of space solar cells. Today, the privately held company employs 900 people with '97 sales of $121 million. TecStar supports the space and aircraft industries, both as a leading producer of critical aircraft subsystems and ground support equipment, and by offering the most advanced technology in spacecraft solar panels and arrays. The company maintains an unblemished on-orbit performance on over 400 satellites involving programs like Vanguard, the first satellite powered by solar cells in the late 1950's, through today's on-orbit constellations such as GPS, Iridium, Landsat, Orbcomm, and the Mars-Pathfinder program.