The moon has been a focal point for the space industry since the 1950’s. Early on, SSC joined the lunar race and the company has gathered extensive experience as the world’s first commercial lunar communications service. Now, SSC is preparing for future lunar missions in the coming years, supporting commercial missions to the moon, including for Astrobotic, Masten Space Systems and Firefly Aerospace in the U.S.
“With the lunar legacy that lies within this company, dating all the way back to the Apollo program, we are confident to take on the future of lunar and deep-space missions. Our deep experience and understanding of these missions along with our world-leading ground station network is what makes us a valued partner for journeys to the moon and beyond,” says Erwin Mercado, SSC Head of Business Development for the Americas region.
“There are a lot of reasons to study the moon – economic, scientific or just to overcome the challenge of going there. Every lunar mission is a way of taking the next step in mankind’s journey as a species,” says Sam Peterson, SSC Business Development Director Americas.
In recent years, SSC has supported lunar missions such as ESA’s SMART-1, NASA’s LRO, and SpaceIL’s highly acclaimed Beresheet mission. The latter was the first privately funded spacecraft to reach the lunar surface in 2019. In these missions, SSC has been involved in all phases from payload design to mission preparation including simulations and LEOP as well as routine operations through to the end-of-life operations. Today, SSC provides daily routine support to two satellites currently in orbit of the moon.
“SSC is continuing to innovate to meet the changing requirements for the next generation of lunar missions. There are many programs that will be taking off in the coming years and SSC will be supporting lunar missions more than two times each year as we continue to deliver the world’s only proven commercial lunar communications service,” says Sam Peterson.
A few men have already set foot on its surface, yet the Moon continues to be of great scientific interest for mankind. With its rich lunar heritage, SSC is now ready to take the next steps. Using existing infrastructure, the SSC ground station network will support several commercial missions in the coming years. And investing in new capabilities – ground network upgrades and new satellite launch infrastructure at Esrange Space Center in Sweden – SSC stands ready to support the ambitious lunar and deep-space programs to come.