Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Northrop Grumman's Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit Selected for BepiColombo Mission

Northrop Grumman's Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit Selected for BepiColombo Mission
September 9, 2009

Woodland Hills, Calif. Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Scalable Space Inertial Reference Unit (Scalable SIRU(tm)) has been selected by EADS Astrium GmbH for use aboard the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division will provide its
space-qualified, flight-proven Scalable SIRU(tm) for use on the Mercury
Planetary Orbiter spacecraft. The Scalable SIRU(tm) is an inertial
reference system that supplies critical data that enables the
stabilization, pointing and attitude control of satellites and space

BepiColombo is a collaborative mission between the European
Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Its goal is to explore the planet Mercury, which presents unique
challenges due to the planet's close proximity to the Sun. The Mercury
Planetary Orbiter will study Mercury's surface and internal composition
to help scientists better understand the planet and its formation. The
BepiColombo mission is scheduled to launch in 2013 and arrive at
Mercury in 2019, where it will spend one to two years gathering data.

"We are very pleased to be supporting BepiColombo," said Gorik
Hossepian, vice president of Navigation and Positioning Systems for
Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division. "Our Scalable SIRU
offers performance and reliability that is vital to this type of
space-based venture."

Northrop Grumman's Scalable SIRU(tm) is the industry standard
for high precision, long life attitude control solutions supporting
commercial, government and civil space missions. Scalable SIRU(tm)
missions include earth observation, communications, and science
applications in low earth orbit, geostationary, and deep space mission
profiles. Northrop Grumman's Hemispherical Resonating Gyro technology
installed in the Scalable SIRU(tm) has reached over 13 million
operating hours in space without a mission failure.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security
company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products,
and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems,
shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial
customers worldwide.

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