REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A modular space vehicle for rapid configuration and launch to support U.S. battlefield commanders has been delivered to the U.S. Air Force.
Northrop Grumman, which delivered the MSV this week, said the plug-and-play open systems spacecraft bus was designed and built in 30 months under a task order valued at about $50 million.
The MSV can operate in several orbits -- low-Earth, medium-Earth and Geosynchronous – and can be launched from a variety of launch vehicles.
It can accommodate payloads for a wide variety of missions, from radar imaging and missile warning to military communications and weather.
"Because MSV is the first to implement space plug-and-play standards with simplified, standard hardware and software interfaces, the bus is loaded with flexibility," said Doug Young, vice president, Missile Defense and Advanced Missions, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "MSV provides ways for future development of rapid response space capabilities that will be timely, cost-efficient and flexible."
Working with Northrop on development of the MSV bus were Applied Technology Associates, Design Net Engineering, Microcosm Inc., Advanced Defense Systems, and Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University.
The space bus was delivered to the Operationally Responsive Space Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.