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ATLAS Space Operations to support Blue Origin’s Blue Ring DarkSky-1 Mission

ATLAS Space Operations to support Blue Origin’s Blue Ring DarkSky-1 Mission

Blue Origin has selected ATLAS Space Operations, the largest US-owned and operated federated ground network, to provide ground segment support for their upcoming Blue Ring mission, DarkSky-1.


Announced October 2023, Blue Ring provides end-to-end services that span hosting, transportation, refueling, data relay, and logistics in medium earth orbits (MEO), geostationary orbits (GEO), lunar orbits, and beyond.


Blue Origin and Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) recently announced DarkSky-1, a mission that will demonstrate flight systems, including space-based processing capabilities, telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) hardware, and ground-based radiometric tracking.

 

To meet the radio frequency (RF) requirements of this and future cislunar and lunar Blue Ring missions, ATLAS will leverage a number of its highly capable seven-meter antennas across a strategic global footprint.


In a statement regarding Blue Ring’s DarkSky-1 mission, ATLAS Director of Commercial Solutions Paige Cooley said, “There is no margin for error when supporting a mission such as DarkSky-1. In addition to meeting link budget requirements and offering broad geographic coverage, we emphasize extensive mission assurance measures in our solution through ATLAS-in-a-box testing during the integration process. We’re honored that Blue Origin has entrusted us with such a vital role in the success of this endeavor.”


AIB (ATLAS-in-a-box) testing is the culmination of ATLAS’ integration process which involvesestablishing RF communication with their customer’s satellite or high-fidelity emulator on the ground. The result of this testing is proven communication compatibility between the spacecraft and the ground station weeks to months before the spacecraft launches.


“Blue Ring’s collaboration with ATLAS’ hybrid space architecture will demonstrate enhanced space mobility and operations for commercial, civil, and national security customers,” said Paul Ebertz, Senior Vice President of Blue Origin’s In-Space Systems. “Together, these advanced systems represent a leap forward in ensuring reliable, adaptable, and efficient access to space for a broad range of missions.”


Blue Ring is part of Blue Origin’s mission to build a road to space and enable millions of people to live and work in space for the benefit of Earth.


“Blue Origin is a great company whose ambitions for space are truly matched by their ingenuity and expertise. Adding value to missions like Blue Ring is why ATLAS was founded. It’s exciting to contribute to initiatives that will someday be remembered as having altered the course of humanity,” said John Williams, CEO of ATLAS.

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