A glimpse of the Deep Space Atomic Clock in the middle bay of the General Atomics Orbital Test Bed spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)
SAN DIEGO, CA, (Oct. 6, 2020) — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has received a contract extension for a second year of operations of their Orbital Test Bed (OTB) spacecraft supporting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) mission. GA-EMS will continue to provide operations support services from GA-EMS’ spacecraft development and mission operations facilities in Colorado through August 2021.
“We are extremely proud to be working with NASA and JPL as the OTB spacecraft continues to host another year of DSAC mission operations,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “As OTB continues to operate nominally, we look forward to DSAC reaching new milestones that will one day enable future deep space missions for both human and robotic explorers.”
A primary objective of the DSAC mission is to demonstrate significantly improved timing stability assuring the ability to measure time consistently over long periods to support deep space navigation and exploration. Currently, DSAC is approximately 10 times as stable as the atomic clocks on ...