ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Feb. 26, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SolAero Technologies Corp., a leading provider of compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the space solar power markets, announced today that it has been awarded a contract by ATK (NYSE:ATK) to design and manufacture solar panels for NASA’s InSight Mars Lander. The mission, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is planned for launch in March of 2016.
Solar panels populated with SolAero’s most advanced ZTJ triple-junction solar cells will power the InSight spacecraft which will be built and operated by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Denver. ATK will integrate SolAero’s solar panels into its heritage-designed UltraFlex solar arrays for the final flight configuration of the spacecraft.
InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior. In addition, InSight will serve as a terrestrial planet explorer that will open a window into the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than four billion years ago.
“Missions of this magnitude require extremely high reliability and proven performance,” said David Messner, Vice President and General Manager of Solar Arrays and Deployables for ATK’s Space Components division. “We are pleased to be partnering with SolAero again, this time to support the exploration of the Martian surface for Lockheed Martin and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the exciting Mars InSight program.”
“This contract with ATK is a very important award for SolAero, and we are honored once again to contribute to NASA’s next mission to Mars,” said Dr. Brad Clevenger, President and CEO of SolAero Technologies. “SolAero has partnered with ATK on many successful programs and has supported several high-profile NASA-JPL missions including the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that carried the rover ‘Curiosity’ to Mars.”
“SolAero is in the process of delivering solar panels for several other NASA missions including the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) with ATK,” added Navid Fatemi, Vice President of Business Development for SolAero Technologies. “We greatly value our long-standing business relationship with ATK and look forward to another successful partnership with ATK on NASA’s Insight Mars Lander mission.”
SolAero is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of highly-efficient radiation-hard solar cells for space power applications. With a Beginning-Of-Life (BOL) conversion efficiency nearing 30% and the option for a patented, onboard monolithic bypass diode, SolAero’s industry-leading multi-junction solar cells provide the highest levels of performance to interplanetary spacecraft and earth orbiting satellites. SolAero’s proven manufacturing capability, technology leadership and high-reliability solar cells and panels make us the supplier of choice for demanding spacecraft power systems.
ATK is an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico, and internationally. News and information about ATK can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk, or on Twitter @ATK.