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Apex Launches Aries SN1, Marks a Milestone in Satellite Bus Production with Record-Breaking Build Time
Apex has verified the success of Aries Serial Number (SN) 1 as part of its first Call to Adventure Mission. Aries is Apex's productized ESPA-class bus now being delivered in serial production.
Apex Launches Aries SN1, Marks a Milestone in Satellite Bus Production with Record-Breaking Build Time
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Mar 07, 2024

Apex, the innovative spacecraft manufacturing company based in Los Angeles, reports that 'Aries Serial Number 1 (SN1)', the first production unit of the Aries bus, has established bidirectional communication with ground stations, demonstrating its operational health in orbit. This successful orbital deployment follows its launch aboard SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket on March 4.

The Aries platform, a flagship product of Apex, represents the forefront of productized ESPA-class satellite buses. Designed to accommodate payloads up to 100kg, the Aries bus caters to a diverse array of mission needs through customizable performance packages. This approach not only streamlines the manufacturing process but also significantly benefits Apex's customers by leveraging the advantages of serial production.

Ian Cinnamon, Chief Executive Officer of Apex, expressed his enthusiasm for the project's rapid progress and its implications for future missions. "One year ago, we had a blank piece of paper. Today, we celebrate the successful orbit of our ESPA-class vehicle. The swift success of our first mission amplifies our excitement for the Aries buses currently in production, destined to support our growing customer base," he stated.

Max Benassi, Chief Technology Officer at Apex, detailed the operational milestones achieved by Aries SN1 post-launch. "Following its successful deployment from SpaceX's Falcon 9, the Aries vehicle autonomously navigated its detumble maneuver, oriented itself towards the sun, deployed its solar arrays, and initiated bidirectional communication with our ground network. This marks a significant step forward in our operational capabilities, enabling us to better serve our customers' mission requirements," Benassi explained.

Apex's Aries SN1 has set a new industry standard by being the fastest-built small satellite, a stark contrast to the traditional timeline that sees years of design and months of building. Apex's streamlined process, from a clean-sheet design to launch, took merely 12 months, showcasing their capacity to meet the growing demands of the space industry with remarkable efficiency.

Looking ahead, Apex is not only scaling up the production of the Aries platform but also advancing the development of larger spacecraft bus products, Nova and Comet, slated for production in 2025. Nova aims to support payloads up to 300kg and is tailored for mixed-use constellation customers, while Comet features a stackable design suitable for large aperture communications payloads over 500kg.

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