Nasa has selected Space Systems/Loral (SSL) to study the potential of using commercial habitats to manufacture and assemble commercial satellites in space.

SSL will study the feasibility of habitable space platforms for building commercial satellites and how they might unlock new capabilities.

It further aims to promote Nasa’s vision of a vibrant space economy, and expand opportunities for US space industry.

Shifting the production of satellite to space eliminates the constraints of launch vehicle volumes and schedules as well as the requirement for satellites to survive challenging launch conditions.

It also enables simple and capable system designs that can be developed more rapidly and economically.

SSL Government Systems president Richard White said: “Today’s focus on commercial activity in space is undoubtedly accelerating innovation.

“At SSL, we work closely with Nasa to explore concepts that implement next-generation business models to stimulate private demand for commercial human spaceflight.”

“At SSL, we work closely with Nasa to explore concepts that implement next-generation business models to stimulate private demand for commercial human spaceflight.

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“Bringing commercial and government innovation together will be a powerful driver of capabilities.”

SSL is primarily involved in the development of spacecraft systems for both commercial and government satellite operators and various space missions.

Earlier this month, the company was selected by Zin Technologies to build and test the Psyche Compute Element.

Designed by Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for its Psyche mission, the Psyche Compute Element serves as the brain of the spacecraft and will work as the coordinating centre for command and data handling activity.

SSL designs and manufactures spacecraft for services such as direct-to-home television, video content distribution, broadband internet, mobile communications, in-orbit servicing, space exploration and Earth observation.