Sierra Nevada Corp. ships satellites from Louisville

LOUISVILLE – Sierra Nevada Corp. has shipped six satellites from its Space Systems division in Louisville to Cape Canaveral, Florida for launch aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in May.

And 11 more are in the pipeline.

The satellites were made for New Jersey-based ORBCOMM Inc., which has a network of satellites that provides two-way data communication for tracking and controlling assets for the commercial transportation, heavy equipment, marine and homeland security industries.

ORBCOMM announced Wednesday that the satellites will launch May 10.

The new Generation 2 (OG2) satellites are more advanced than their OG1 constellation, and include an automatic identification system for receiving and reporting transmissions from vessels for ship tracking and other maritime navigational and safety efforts.

ORBCOMM’s OG2 constellation will include 17 satellites. In addition to developing the satellite buses, SNC is directing development and integration of the advanced communication payload. The company is also assisting in launch planning and mission operations.

The final 11 satellites in the new constellation are being completed in Louisville, with a launch for those anticipated for the fourth quarter of this year.

No cost of the satellites was specified in the companies’ announcements Wednesday.

“Due to their high efficiency and modular design, these satellites have substantially more capacity to service a larger number of subscribers, thus making the network more efficient with fewer satellites than the OG1 satellites that are currently on-orbit,” Pat Remias, SNC Space Systems’ senior director of programs, said in a prepared statement.

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