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Rocket Lab to Support Viasat Demos for NASA Satellite Communication Project

Space communication


Rocket Lab to Support Viasat Demos for NASA Satellite Communication Project

Carlsbad, California-based Viasat has partnered with vehicle launch and space systems supplier Rocket Lab USA in space communications networks demonstrations for the NASA Communications Services Project on a near-Earth orbit communication network to replace the agency’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System. 

Viasat will perform the demonstrations as part of two CSP contracts totaling $80 million, which the company first disclosed in April 2022. The Long Beach, California-based Rocket Lab will provide a spacecraft bus and mission operation support for the CSP task, Viasat said Thursday

During the demonstration mission, scheduled for early 2026, the company will deploy its Ka- and L-band relay solutions, as well as its Real-Time Earth Ground-Station-as-a-Service for S-, X- and Ka-bands.

Viasat’s Integrated Space Access Network will use all transports to demonstrate adaptability and low Earth orbit operators’ options on data access while considering network readiness, cost and time-sensitive tasks.

Michael Maughan, Viasat Government Systems’ vice president for space and mission systems, expressed excitement on Rocket Lab’s partnership to support the company’s growing space mission portfolio. Viasat provides “highly flexible, cost-effective and scalable” space relay services suited for government and commercial operations, Maughan added.

Besides its Viasat tie-up, Rocket Lab also partnered with Inmarsat Government for the development and manufacturing of an L-Band radio supporting the NASA CSP.

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Category: Space

Tags: Communications Services Project low-Earth orbit Michael Maughan NASA Rocket Lab USA space space communications Viasat