Beyond Gravity wins major contract from ULA for Amazon's Project Kuiper constellation launches
by Staff Writers
Zurich, Switzerland (SPX) Oct 28, 2022
In mid-March this year, Beyond Gravity (formerly RUAG Space) was awarded a contract to develop and deliver the dispenser system for Amazon's planned satellite constellation. Project Kuiper aims to provide affordable, high-speed broadband connections around the world.
Now, United Launch Alliance (ULA) has also awarded Beyond Gravity the contract to supply 38 payload fairings for its Vulcan rockets. These will protect the Amazon satellites from launch to deployment. To handle the volume, Beyond Gravity is doubling its production capacity in the U.S. and is working with ULA to build a new manufacturing facility at its site in Decatur, Alabama, by early 2024, creating 200 additional jobs.
Fast, affordable internet worldwide - this is the promise of Amazon's planned Kuiper satellite constellation, which aims to put 3,236 satellites into low Earth orbit. Back in March, Beyond Gravity secured a major contract directly from Amazon to develop and manufacture the customized, scalable dispenser systems. Beyond Gravity was also awarded the contract for the delivery of 38 shipsets to U.S. rocket builder United Launch Alliance (ULA) for its Vulcan rockets that will take Amazon's Kuiper constellation into space.
A shipset comprises three composite structures, which include a payload fairing (the top of the launch vehicle protecting the satellites on their way into orbit), the heat shield that protects the launch vehicle from the heat generated by the engine during launch, and an interstage adapter that interfaces to the launcher's upper stage.
Doubling of production capacity and jobs
The 38 payload fairings for ULA will be manufactured at Beyond Gravity's site in Decatur, Alabama. As a result of the order, Beyond Gravity will build a second production facility in Decatur.
The new building measures more than 250,000 square feet of space, including 30,000 square feet of warehouse along with 20,000 square feet for offices. Paul Horstink, who heads the Launchers Division as Executive Vice President, states: "Beyond Gravity has fantastic people with a high level of commitment and a clear focus on the needs of our customers. With this new facility, Beyond Gravity will move to the next level: from producing a total of 10 payload fairings in Decatur per year to a target of 25. Also, Beyond Gravity's workforce in the U.S. will grow from just over 200 today to an expected 400 employees." The new facility will be completed with operations beginning in early 2024.
Long-term strategic partnership with ULA
SpaceX California launch sends 53 more Starlink satellites into orbit
Washington DC (UPI) Oct 28, 2021
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 53 more Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit on Thursday. The flight lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base northwest of Los Angeles and headed southeast over the Pacific Ocean in its first minutes. It was the 49th SpaceX mission of the year and roughly 75% of the flights launched Starlink satellites. Before the latest launch, SpaceX had reached a milestone of putting more than 3,500 satellites into orbit on Oct. 20. Those satell ... read more
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