DULLES, Va. – July 2, 2022 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) played a critical role in the successful launch and deployment of the US Space Force (USSF)-12 mission which launched last night from the space station of Cape Canaveral. As part of this mission, an ESPAStar built by Northrop GrummanMT satellite and a wide-field-of-view missile-sensing satellite launched on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket, powered by solid rocket boosters supplied by Northrop Grumman and other critical components.
The ESPAStar platform supports a wide range of missions using the ESPA standard. ESPAStar is equipped with multiple payload ports that can accommodate hosted and free-flying payloads.
“ESPAStar provides rapid access to space,” said Troy Brashear, vice president, national security systems, Northrop Grumman. “As owner of the ESPAStar mission, we have combined essential technology into one cohesive mission, including hardware integration and testing, ground-based software, command and control development and integration. , mission execution planning and in-orbit operations.”
Four of the company’s 63-inch-diameter Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM 63) solid rocket boosters provided approximately 1.5 million pounds of launch thrust to help lift the rocket and cushion payload. Earlier this month, the company finalized a contract for its GEM solid rocket boosters to fly on ULA’s next-generation Vulcan rocket, one of the largest commercial solid rocket engine contracts in history. .
Northrop Grumman also supplied many subsystems for the ESPAStar bus, including solar panels, propellant tanks, satellite and star tracker structures.
Using advanced fiber placement manufacturing and automated inspection techniques, Northrop Grumman produced the first stage composite heat shield, the Centaur Interstage Adapter that houses the second stage engine, and the broadtail that fits the vehicle main fairing five meters in diameter. The company also manufactured hydrazine propellant tanks, which feed into the Centaur Upper Stage reaction control system to provide guidance and control.
Northrop Grumman is a technology company focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions give our customers the capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the United States and its allies. Driven by a common goal of solving our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define the possible every day.