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Boeing's Millennium Space Systems amplifies small satellite production
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Boeing's Millennium Space Systems amplifies small satellite production
by Brad Bartz
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jul 20, 2023

Millennium Space Systems, a subsidiary of Boeing [NYSE: BA], marked an important milestone on July 18, 2023, as it celebrated the success of its Small Satellite Factory (SSF). Initially unveiled to the public in 2022, the SSF has risen to the challenge of satisfying an uptick in contracts for proliferated satellite constellations.

This rapid expansion of production capabilities reflects the company's dedication to meeting the evolving needs of its customers. Jason Kim, CEO of Millennium Space Systems, highlighted the significance of the step-up in production, saying, "We ramped up our production capacity for our customers' needs." He added, "I can't talk about most of our national security space missions, but what I can tell you is our programs demand high-throughput production."

Since its founding in 2001, Millennium Space Systems has made significant strides in the space industry, delivering high-performance prototype and constellation solutions across a range of advanced national security and environmental observation missions. The company's small satellite missions have consistently supported the requirements of various government, civil, and commercial space customers across orbits.

The SSF plays a pivotal role in enabling Millennium Space Systems to swiftly respond to industry demands while mitigating risk factors. Key to this strategy is the ALTAIR spacecraft, which has been developed and refined since 2015, and has since proven its worth in flight. The factory furthers the active production lines and the vertical integration of mature in-house components, simultaneously facilitating software re-use, digital engineering, and design for manufacturability and test.

The success of the SSF demonstrates Millennium Space Systems' culture of innovation and speed in action. Michelle Parker, Vice President of Space Mission Systems for Boeing, spoke to this effect: "SSF is demonstrating in real time a culture of innovation and rapid delivery." She further acknowledged the growing market demand: "Clearly SSF is in demand, and that demand only continues to grow for national security space missions."

The high-throughput production facilitated by the SSF highlights a paradigm shift in the industry as it grapples with an ever-growing need for small satellite technology. It speaks to the urgency of national security missions, and the crucial role small satellites are playing in the current space technology landscape. This trend also illustrates the broader application of small satellite technology beyond the confines of national security, encompassing civil and commercial space needs as well.

As the demand for small satellite solutions continues to rise, Millennium Space Systems stands at the forefront, ready to respond with increased production capacity. With the continued support from its parent company, Boeing, and the SSF as its innovative nerve center, the future looks promising for this pioneer of small satellite technology.

The advent of the SSF represents a crucial pivot for the space industry, demonstrating how companies like Millennium Space Systems are addressing the mounting demand for satellite technology. As the industry continues to evolve, such advances will play a critical role in shaping the future of space exploration, technology, and security.

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