Ball Aerospace secures $176M contract to build 10 satellites for Space Development Agency
BROOMFIELD — Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has secured a $176 million contract to develop, manufacture and operate 10 experimental satellites for the Space Development Agency.
The satellites are scheduled to begin launching in 2024 and are part of the agency’s National Defense Space Architecture Experimental Testbed, or NExt, which will demonstrate low-latency data transport and beyond line-of-sight command and control.
NExt will “demonstrate warfighter utility of emerging mission partner payloads prior to potential incorporation in future tranches,” according to a press release issued by the SDA, which reports to the U.S. Space Force.
“NExT is an exciting program that has a lot of tie in with our mission partners and will help to advance future tranches of the National Defense Space Architecture,’ Derek Tournear, SDA director, said in a written statement. “We’re confident that selection of the Ball Aerospace team provides the best overall solution to deliver NExT, including payload integration and launch.”
Dave Kaufman, president of Ball Aerospace, said the company is leveraging its “heritage and proven experience of assembly, integration and test of complex payloads while bringing together an innovative industry team to quickly deliver needed capabilities to ensure SDA mission success.”
Ball will integrate government furnished payloads and will operate the NExT satellites from the company’s Colorado facilities.
Ball Aerospace is a subsidiary of Broomfield-based Ball Corp. (NYSE: BALL).