Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) recently released The Spacecraft Assembly Line, its newest Better Satellite World video. It describes how OneWeb Satellites has brought the Ford assembly line model to satellite manufacturing.
The business of space is changing as companies begin putting dozens or hundreds or thousands of satellites in orbit. Space is nothing like the roads traveled by Ford’s Model T. It is airless, freezing cold and blazing hot, and flooded with radiation. Building for it is hard, but the assembly line has come to the manufacturing of satellites, and nothing will ever be the same again. In a new factory near Cape Canaveral, Florida, OneWeb Satellites operates the most automated assembly lines in the business, where engineers, technicians, tools and robotics take part in a complex dance of creation.
“The OneWeb Satellites factory on the Space Coast was the first high-volume manufacturing line for communications satellites in history,” said executive director Robert Bell. “The processes and technologies they have pioneered are rapidly becoming key to the explosive growth of LEO capacity on orbit.”
The Spacecraft Assembly Line debuted at SSPI’s 2020 Future Leaders Celebration on October 6th.