Milestone Marks Delivery of Second of Five Satellites for NASA

Swales Aerospace announced the delivery of the second of five THEMIS micro-satellite spacecraft busses. NASA’s THEMIS (Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions) mission consists of five identical, small satellites (the Swales spacecraft have a dry mass of ~ 50kg and an equal amount of propellant for maneuvers) that are designed to fly as a constellation to determine the cause of global reconfigurations of the Earth’s magnetosphere, a region of the upper atmosphere extending for thousands of miles. Each of the five satellites carries the same suite of electric, magnetic and particle instruments.

Swales Aerospace is the prime contractor for the spacecraft bus and the satellite dispenser probe carrier. This second spacecraft bus was integrated and delivered by Swales to the Principal Investigator team at the University of California, Berkeley under NASA’s Explorer Program.

“The Swales busses are unique in that they simultaneously satisfy many competing requirements in the near deep-space high-earth orbits of the THEMIS program,” said Dan Mark, Swales Vice President for Civil Space Programs. “This micro-satellite technology has applicability for a variety of different space missions,” he added.

The THEMIS program is unique in that it is NASA’s first scientific research micro-satellite constellation and has been critical to demonstrating the programmatic and technical feasibility essential to the future needs of the Heliophysics and Exploration communities for multi-point measurements that are vital to the scientific roadmaps for the next several decades.

About Swales

Swales Aerospace is an employee-owned company that provides a broad range of aerospace engineering services to NASA, the Department of Defense and commercial aerospace clients. Headquartered in Beltsville, Maryland, the company posted annual revenues in excess of $193 million in 2005 and employs more than 900 professionals in offices in Maryland, Virginia and California. Additional information is available at