Communication Devices Ease Contact with Commercial Spacecraft
"NASA Spinoff Story"
Scientific experimentation is the central purpose of the International Space Station (ISS), where astronauts work toward answers that will be crucial to the future of space travel, such as the effects of microgravity on physiology and how exposure to space alters materials. While we’ve all seen the videos, photos, and tweets astronauts send from orbit, most of the information transmitted between the ISS and Earth is experiment data. As early as 2010, however, the system for downlinking this data was operating at full capacity, limiting the station’s ability to carry out its primary mission. Upgrades were in order.
AMERGINT Technologies Inc., a new company at the time, was already making a name for itself, bringing in customers like the Department of Defense and Honeywell. So the Colorado Springs-based startup was ready when it got its biggest break yet: a contract to provide Johnson Space Center with a new data processor to handle a major increase in communications with the space station. ...