Boeing and Millennium Space Systems launch high-throughput small satellite production facility

March 31, 2022

Digitally-defined small satellite factory incorporates model-based systems engineering, digital design engineering, and design for manufacturability within a modular footprint equipped to build small satellites for different security levels (Courtesy Boeing)

Boeing has unveiled a new high-throughput small satellite production, integration and test facility designed for efficiency and rapid delivery timelines. Housed in what is reported to be the world’s largest satellite factory, Boeing’s 92,903 m2 El Segundo, California, USA, facility, the small satellite production line will be powered by Boeing subsidiary Millennium Space Systems.

“Boeing and Millennium are bringing together Boeing’s production expertise, domain knowledge, and manufacturing capacity with Millennium’s agility and rapid prototyping,” stated Jim Chilton, senior vice president of Boeing Space and Launch. “We’re scaling and growing to fulfil our customers’ vision for multi-orbit constellations with demand across markets and mission sets.”

The companies are applying advanced and Additive Manufacturing techniques, including the Additive Manufacturing of entire space-qualified satellite buses, to offer faster cycle times while improving performance.

“Our customers need satellites on-orbit faster than ever,” Chilton remarked. “Much like an airplane or auto production line, we’re employing lean production principles and advanced manufacturing techniques to accelerate delivery and pass on cost savings to our customers.”

Millennium’s team will staff the small satellite factory, bringing the subsidiary’s proven processes and infrastructure, in addition to environmental test capabilities tailored to small satellites. Boeing will also provide access to extensive environmental and speciality testing capabilities that have qualified some of the most iconic spacecraft, including the first vehicle to make a fully controlled soft landing on the moon and more than 300 satellites.

“Millennium’s culture is rooted in creating innovative ways to revolutionise space,” commented Jason Kim, Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Space Systems. “We’re bringing that culture into our facilities, rapidly building large constellations of high-performance small satellites, taking advantage of a footprint that’s larger than two professional hockey rinks.”

Designed to build small satellites for different security levels on the same assembly line, the digitally-defined small satellite factory incorporates model-based systems engineering, digital design engineering, and design for manufacturability.

“Understanding security protocols and how to build secure systems is critical to national security space, and this is an area where Millennium and Boeing excel,” added Kim. “We’re excited to leverage this impressive capability to support our customers’ critical missions.”

Initial operating capability took place in September 2021, and the small sat factory’s full operational capability is expected in late 2022.

Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing Company, delivers high-performing prototype and constellation solutions across advanced national security and environmental observation missions. Founded in 2001, the company’s small satellite missions support government, civil and commercial space customers’ needs across orbits.

www.millennium-space.com

www.boeing.com

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Transforming access to medical implants with PrinterPrezz
  • Lessons from 2021’s Olympic bike crash
  • Xerox liquid metal AM
  • Additive Manufacturing for oil, gas and maritime
  • Multi-material metal parts by Powder Bed Fusion
  • Findings from Wohlers Report 2022
  • The challenge of grain size: X-ray powder diffraction analysis of parts made by metal AM

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

News from the industry…

    News from the industry…

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

    • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news

    All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

    Browse the archive

    qweqw

    Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

    Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

    • AM machines
    • Process monitoring & calibration
    • Heat treatment & sintering
    • HIP systems & services
    • Pre- & post-processing technology
    • Powders, powder production and analysis
    • Part manufacturers
    • Consulting, training & market data
    Download PDF
    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap