Weather Satellite Design Passes Review

Millennium Space Systems of Los Angeles completed a preliminary design review with the Air Force for a quick-launch, affordable weather satellite to replace the Defense Department’s current meteorological spacecraft, announced the company on Monday. “Our work for the Air Force under this contract demonstrates our ability to accommodate several relevant payloads … rapidly, affordably, and effectively,” said Michael Mahoney, the company’s program manager, in the April 28 release. “Declining space budgets continue to be the forcing function for new and innovative solutions, supported by smaller satellites, resilient and disaggregated architectures” and more-affordable payloads, he added. The company developed the Disaggregated Weather Satellite Pathfinder spacecraft based on its existing Aquila M2 vehicle as part of a 14-month contract with the Air Force’s Space and Missiles Center, according to the release. Congress cancelled the service’s planned next-generation weather satellite on cost grounds in 2012. As a result, the Air Force extended the legacy Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, launching its most recent satellite this month.