LOCKHEED MARTIN hopes to meet the "explosive demand" for space-based communications services with a refurbished factory in Sunnyvale, California, to produce the company's new A2100 satellite bus, the first of which, the GE-1 (shown left), was launched on 8 September. A total of 16 satellites a year will be produced from the 7,900m2 (85,000ft2) clean room. The modular design of the A2100 allows the spacecraft to be easily configured to customers' specific needs and is the company's reply to the already well-established Hughes HS-601 satellite-bus production line. The A2100 also uses 20% fewer parts than earlier company spacecraft.

Source: Flight International