Magazine article National Defense

Adapter Could Help Air Force Get More out of Its Launches

Magazine article National Defense

Adapter Could Help Air Force Get More out of Its Launches

Article excerpt

* Almost every large rocket has the capacity to carry smaller spacecraft that can hitch a ride to space without needing extra fuel.

Moog Space and Defense Group is offering an adapter that can be placed aboard Delta 4 or Atlas 5 rockets.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Pay load Adapter, also known as an ESPA ring, can give up to six 400-pound secondary satellites a ride into space, or be converted into one free-flying spacecraft, said Joe Maly, ESPA Payload A program manager at Moog.

The Air Force Research Laboratory began investing in the research and development of the ring in 1998. CSA Engineering, which was acquired by Moog, invented the technology so space-faring agencies could get more bang for their buck when launching heavy satellites.

Each ring has six docks that can either launch six separate satellites, or be outfitted with propulsion nodes, solar arrays and payloads to convert it into one single spacecraft. …

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