Boeing to acquire Millennium satellite venture

Aquila satellite

Artist’s concept shows Millennium’s Aquila satellite in orbit. (Millennium Space Systems Illustration)

Boeing says it’ll expand its already-strong satellite portfolio with the acquisition of Millennium Space Systems, a California-based venture that specializes in small satellites for national security customers.

Founded in 2001, Millennium had its first satellite, the 200-kilogram (440-pound) Rapid Pathfinder Prototype, launched in 2011 for the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-66 mission. Millennium says it provided more than six years of operations for three classified payloads.

The privately held company was awarded a U.S. Air Force contract for a geosynchronous satellite system, based on its Aquila platform. It also won backing from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for a class of small satellites that can be built in 90 days for less than $500,000.

The first satellite in that class, Altair Pathfinder, was deployed into orbit from the International Space Station last year.

“Millennium Space Systems’ expertise in vertically integrated small-satellite solutions perfectly complements Boeing’s existing satellite portfolio, and will allow us to meet the needs of a diverse customer set,” Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said today in a news release.

“We look forward to incorporating Millennium Space Systems’ end-to-end mission solution capabilities into our service offerings in satellite operations and data solutions,” Caret said.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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