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The US Navy is undertaking a bright star survey called the Joint Milliarcsecond Pathfinder Survey (JMAPS) mission. The survey will be carried out by a microsatellite containing a telescope set for launch in 2012. The JMAPS mission is intended to improve space situational awareness, in particular tracking space objects.
To build the telescope’s bus, the Navy is contracting with AeroAstro in Ashburn, VA. On March 25/10, the company received a $37.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to supply its low-jitter JMAPS spacecraft bus.
The bus will contain solar panels and will house the power, avionics, communications, thermal control, and inertial measurement units. The instrument/payload deck, which sits on top of the bus, will contain the optical telescope and electronics.