Moog opens spacecraft-integration facility

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Moog Inc. is quadrupling the size of its Colorado space vehicle production capacity as the New York-based company long known as a spacecraft component supplier expands its role as a space vehicle integrator.

“It’s a proud moment for our company,” Maureen Athoe, Moog Space and Defense Group president, told SpaceNews. “This step takes us to the mission level. We’re going to hear from our customers about what they need not just with components, but with the actual mission.”

This year, Moog is scheduled to integrate nine space vehicles in its new 8,800-square-meter facility in Arvada, Colorado, and its existing 3,000-square-meter plant nearby.

“If customers would like to buy components, we’re happy to sell them,” Hallie Freeman, Moog Integrated Space Vehicles business unit director and site manager, said at the Space Symposium. “If they want to buy integrated subsystems, we’re happy to provide that. This gives us one more option for our customers who bring the payload and are looking for someone to be the integrated bus provider.”

Moog held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening April 4 for the new Arvada facility. Now, the company is moving employees and components into the plant in preparation to begin production this summer.

After decades of producing components and subsystems, Moog began selling entire small and medium spacecraft buses in 2018. Moog also offers a propulsive version of the company’s popular ESPA secondary payload ring and a Small Launch Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle.

Moog won its first contract to supply its Small Launch Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle to a government customer that plans to launch it from the United Kingdom’s Sutherland, Scotland, launch site.

Space industry expansion provided the opening for Moog to become an integrator.

“There are so many more missions, so many more satellites,” Athoe said. “Because we have all of the component expertise that makes it much easier for us to go ahead and do the integrated vehicle.”

Moog, a firm well known for providing spacecraft avionics, flight software and propulsion systems, relies on its supply chain for guidance, navigation and control sensors and the other components the firm does not produce internally.

“Our avionics solutions are proven in geostationary and low Earth orbit,” Athoe said. “Our niche is providing dozens of high reliability space vehicles that can meet the government’s need for responsive missions that have to work.”