Millennium Space Systems to develop two satellites for NASA TRACERS science mission



News Release

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 2, 2019 – Millennium Space Systems was selected to develop and manufacture two ALTAIR spacecraft for a NASA mission, which will measure the dynamics of the magnetic field surrounding the Earth. The company will also integrate, test and operate the full scientific observatories. With this award, Millennium joins the select ranks of companies providing NASA science satellites.

The University of Iowa’s Craig Kletzing, the principal investigator for the Tandem Reconnection and Cusp Electrodynamics Reconnaissance Satellites (TRACERS) mission, chose Millennium as the bus provider and integrator for his team through competitive bidding based on Millennium’s ability to meet the tight cost and schedule constraints of the Small Explorers (SMEX) program while offering satellites with very high capability and technology readiness levels. Millennium has supplied ALTAIR and AQUILA satellites to numerous government customers. TRACERS is the company’s first NASA science mission.

“Millennium looks forward to supporting Dr. Kletzing and NASA with our cutting-edge small satellite technology,” said Steve Thompson, Millennium TRACERS system engineer. “We specifically developed the ALTAIR and AQUILA with NASA in mind, and we are confident that ALTAIR provides unparalleled technical and financial options for maximizing NASA science return.”

Each ALTAIR bus will provide navigation, propulsion, data processing and communications services for five TRACERS science instruments. Together, the two observatories orbiting in formation will measure the time and position dependence of reconnection dynamics and variability of the magnetic field surrounding the Earth, providing a greater understanding of space weather which can affect astronauts, communications systems and even power grids.

TRACERS’ compact geometry and low mass enable its launch as a co-passenger with other satellite missions on one rocket, enabling NASA to deliver more science, more affordably to the Heliophysics SMEX program.

“Millennium exists to provide satellites for exacting missions and discriminating users. Our selection for the TRACERS mission is an affirmation of our technology and our team,” said Thompson.

About Millennium Space Systems
Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing Company, is a small satellite prime, delivering high-performance constellation solutions for National Security Space. Founded in 2001, the company's active production lines and 80% vertical integration enable the rapid delivery of small satellites across missions and orbits – LEO, MEO and GEO. For more information, visit

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