Lockheed Martin [LMT] recently said its In-space Upgrade Satellite System (LINUSS) completed environmental testing and is ready for launch later this year. The company says that small CubeSats can upgrade satellite constellations to add new capabilities and extend spacecraft design lives.
Lockheed Martin’s [LMT] ultimate near-term goal for LINUSS, developed with internal funding, is to support such LM 2100 satellite platforms as the GPS IIIF Space Vehicle 13, the company said
LINUSS consists of a pair of LM 50 12U CubeSats, about the size of a four-slice toaster, to demonstrate how small satellites can sustain critical space architectures in any orbit, the company said. The program’s overall object is to validate maneuvering capabilities for Lockheed Martin’s future space upgrade and servicing missions, the company said.
Lockheed Martin is known for launching big-time satellites into orbit, but few know it has launched more than 150 small sats since 1997, said David Barnhart, LINUSS program director. The company also works on DARPA’s Mandrake, Blackjack constellation, Pony Express, LunIR and La Jument.