Vanguard Space Technologies (San Diego, Calif., USA) reported on Feb. 3 that it has been awarded two contracts to provide hardware for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The contracts, awarded by Northrop Grumman Corp., are for fabrication of composite components of the Unitized Pallet Structure (UPS). The components will be manufactured at Vanguard’s San Diego facility using advanced graphite fiber-reinforced materials. Delivery of the components is scheduled for early this year.
Vanguard also reports that it has been awarded a contract to produce a major component for the OSIRIS-REx mission by Lockheed Martin. Vanguard’s role is to provide the High Gain Antenna (HGA) reflector for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. The contract, awarded to Vanguard by Lockheed Martin, is for fabrication of the HGA including the main reflector, subreflector support structure and subreflector integration. Vanguard delivered a similar HGA to Lockheed Martin for NASA’s recently successful launch of the MAVEN spacecraft. Delivery of the OSIRIS-REx HGA to Lockheed Martin is scheduled for July 2014.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission will study a near-Earth and potentially hazardous asteroid. The Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification- Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2016, rendezvous with asteroid 1999 RQ36, and ultimately bring back samples to Earth. The samples will be the first for a U.S. mission and may hold clues to the origin of the solar system and likely organic molecules that may have seeded life on Earth.