NanoAvionics [https://nanoavionics.com/] has been selected to build a 12U
nanosatellite bus for an in-orbit demonstration of NASA [https://www.nasa.gov/] ?s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3). This a result of a contract
between NASA Ames Research Center [https://www.nasa.gov/ames/] and AST for a 12U
bus to carry NASA [https://www.nasa.gov/]?s payload into low Earth orbit (LEO)
including an approximately 800 square foot (74 square meter) composite boom and
solar sail system.

The aim of the ACS3 mission is to replace conventional rocket propellants by
developing and testing solar sails using sunlight beams to thrust the
nanosatellite. These solar sail propulsion systems are designed for future small
interplanetary spacecrafts destined for low-cost deep-space and science missions
requiring longduration, low-thrust propulsion.

With already more than 75 successful satellite missions and satellite-related
commercial projects, NanoAvionics will assemble the 12U bus at its new Columbia
facility in Illinois, while the final integration of the payload will be carried
out at NASA Ames facilities. Matching NASA Ames? mission requirements, the 12U
bus shares the same flight-proven subsystems as NanoAvionics? flagship M6P bus
but with up to 10U payload volume. The larger volume will be necessary to
provide enough room for the 4.6 kg payload that includes the composite boom and
solar sail system as well as cameras to monitor the solar sail during and after
deployment.

?I?m tremendously proud and excited that NanoAvionics will be part of NASA?s
effort to validate a new beam-powered propulsion system, eventually leading to
more marvellous deep-space missions following the first inter-planetary CubeSats
MarCO-A and B [https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cubesat/missions/marco.php] (Mars Cube
One),? said F. Brent Abbott
[https://www.linkedin.com/in/f-brent-abbott-35444113/], CEO of NanoAvionics
North America.

In 2018 AST [https://ast-science.com/] acquired a controlling interest in
NanoAvionics as part of its strategy to establish manufacturing capabilities in
Europe and North America. Abel Avellan
[https://ast-science.com/team/abel-avellan/], CEO and chairman of AST
[https://ast-science.com/] serves as chairman of NanoAvionics? Board of
Directors.

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