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Summit looks at possibilities for LEO, GEO, and beyond

Surrey joined many industry partners at the third annual Hosted Payload Summit at the Grand Hyatt Washington, Washington, DC, on October 9, 2013.
The Hosted Payload Summit is a well-established event on the conference calendar, and there was a healthy attendance with numbers similar to previous years, despite the absence of government personnel due to the shutdown.

The hosted payload approach is increasingly attracting attention as a potential cost-effective solution for government agencies and commercial customers to fly payloads on commercial satellite missions. Surrey is a long-term advocate of the hosted payload approach; we’ve been flying hosted payloads since 1981 and SST-US recently announced that it was selected by NASA to fly the Deep Space Atomic Clock as a hosted government payload onboard the commercial OTB mission. Our hosted payload customers have benefitted by having their payloads launched and operated – quickly and for a fraction of the price of a dedicated mission.

We enjoyed the day’s sessions, and are grateful to the organizers and industry colleagues for ensuring that all government speaker and panel session slots were filled; however, we and fellow attendees missed the 
government perspective on the issues under discussion, the richness of the conversations, and opportunities to connect that we always look forward to.

Picture caption: UoSAT-1, launched on a NASA Thor Delta-2310 flight from Vandenberg AFB on October 1981, flew a suite of space environment experiments alongside the imaging and communications payload.

There were several interesting sessions focusing on the cases for hosted payloads, the challenges associated with the government-industry model, and potential applications of the hosted payload approach. Government is taking its first steps to showing its commitment to hosted payloads with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Hosted Payload Solutions (HoPS) effort, which aims to establish a contractual framework for government to benefit from spare capacity on fast-paced commercial satellite missions. The keynote speech by former NASA astronaut Thomas D. Jones looked to hosted payload applications beyond low-Earth and geostationary orbit. NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is set to develop and enable the demonstration of many technologies for the in-orbit deployment of tools, systems, and spacecraft to rendezvous with, explore, and find ways to utilize the target asteroid after it has been captured and brought to a lunar orbit. How to build and leverage government and industry partnerships to make ARM and other hosted payload missions a success is an interesting topic which will be the subject of increasing interest in the coming year.


24 October 20130 Comments1 Comment

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