PARIS — All six Orbcomm machine-to-machine messaging satellites launched July 14 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket have deployed their solar arrays and antennas and begun communicating with Orbcomm’s gateway Earth stations, satellite prime contractor Sierra Nevada Corp. said July 17.
Louisville, Colorado-based Sierra Nevada Space Systems said full satellite checkout would continue for several weeks before turning them over to Rochelle Park, New Jersey-based Orbcomm.
Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California, built the satellites’ payloads. The full second-generation Orbcomm constellation includes 17 satellites. The remaining 11 are scheduled for launch, also by Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s Falcon 9, at an undetermined date late this year or early in 2015.
The Orbcomm contract represented a breakthrough for Sierra Nevada as a satellite prime contractor, and for the company’s SN-100 satellite platform.