Smallsat manufacturer BCT announced its plans on August 5 about its decision to continue operations of 2 CubeSats funded by NASA, Halosat and TEMPEST-D, from the mission center located in Colorado. HaloSat and TEMPEST-D were both launched from ISS during July 2018. The latter investigates the galactic halo of Milky Way galaxy. These 2 6-unit CubeSats that were produced by BCT have reported no issues so far, stated the CEO of BCT George Stafford.
These contract period extensions show how impressed the team is with BCT hardware’s performance and the company’s capability to handle missions & deliver mission information to all their customers. The affordable solutions and turnkey provided by BCT ensures these programs remain operational despite exceeding their planned mission life. The company is also building over sixty spacecraft for academic, government and commercial customers. The firm operates satellites for its customers as well. BCT operates 5 satellite missions at the moment and will start another 12 during 2020, stated Stafford.
This TEMPEST-D satellite takes measurements of precipitation, clouds, water vapor on a global scale, utilizing 5 channels mm wave radiometer. This cubesat was developed by CSU, NASA’s JPL, BCT, and the CIT. The Earth Ventures wing of NASA is backing this mission.
With these contract extensions, the company will operate the TEMPEST-D mission for another 4 months and the HaloSat mission for 5 more months, stated Stafford. However, BCT officials have declined to issue a comment regarding the prices of these awards. HaloSat was developed by Iowa University and was the 1st CubeSat that was funded by the Astrophysics Division at NASA. Halosat is dependent on various X-ray detection devices for observing baryon gas present in the galaxy. Philip Kaaret of Iowa University’s Astronomy and Physics Department and the principal investigator in the HaloSat team stated that he was happy to have worked with BCT for the operations and construction of Halosat. BCT is now expanding rapidly. It doubled its headcount last year and will launch a new HQ and facility next year.