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NOAA to Study SpaceX’s Satellite Management Software Under CRADA

Orbital operation safety

NOAA to Study SpaceX’s Satellite Management Software Under CRADA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Space Commerce has signed a no-exchange-of-funds cooperative research and development agreement with SpaceX to advance safe and automated satellite operations.

Under the CRADA, the OSC will perform an astrodynamic evaluation of SpaceX’s software, particularly those used for satellite management. According to OSC Director Richard DalBello, NOAA wants to determine if SpaceX’s satellite management software can be used as a tool for enhancing space safety and sustainability.

The OSC’s research efforts will help develop capabilities to manage orbital operations, which have become increasingly more prominent. Data gathered from the CRADA will also inform the Traffic Coordination System for Space system, the OSC said.

The CRADA comes after the office launched Consolidated Patfhinder, a project where NOAA tasked three companies to provide services that support TRACSS. Under the project, NOAA tasked the Pennsylvania-based company COMSPOC to provide orbit demonstration services and the California-based companies LeoLabs and Slingshot Aerospace to provide space situational awareness data and low-Earth orbit-related services.

Like the CRADA with SpaceX, Consolidated Pathfinder will inform the buildout of the operational TraCSS and assess the private sector’s SSA capabilities.

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Category: Space

Tags: Cooperative Research and Development Agreement National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Space Commerce orbital operation safety Research and Development Richard DalBello space space situational awareness SpaceX