TechDogs-"Apex Completes First Payload Commissioning, Downlinks Satellite Selfie, As Part Of Its Aries Call To Adventure Mission"

Emerging Technology

Apex Completes First Payload Commissioning, Downlinks Satellite Selfie, As Part Of Its Aries Call To Adventure Mission

By Business Wire

Business Wire
Overall Rating

Apex has downlinked a “Selfie” from Aries Serial Number (SN) 1 Call to Adventure Mission. The selfie demonstrates end-to-end capabilities of the Aries platform.

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apex, the Los Angeles-based spacecraft manufacturing company, released its “satellite selfie,” an image taken by its Aries SN1 spacecraft. The photograph was taken by a payload owned by Apex, which completed commissioning last week. The image was taken by a camera mounted on the satellite bus’s payload deck. The camera captures one of the deployed solar panels in the foreground, with the Azores Islands and Atlantic Ocean in the background. On the solar panel, Apex’s logo and a picture of the team are visible.

Apex’s selfie photo demonstrates end-to-end capabilities of the Aries platform. All the major subsystems must be commissioned for the first camera payload to take this selfie: power, thermal, GNC, and communications all had to work together to acquire and downlink the photograph. The Aries SN1 mission contains multiple customer payloads, and this first payload mission is now a success.

Apex has completed all basic subcomponent commissioning of Aries, and is now completing advanced commissioning of its GNC system over the coming days before turning over satellite access to its external customers for their payload missions.

“This selfie demonstrates that all our satellite’s subsystems are working well both individually and together. Space is not easy, and I continue to be impressed by our world-class team for pulling this off on a record time frame. At Apex, we take care of the satellite buses for our customers, ensuring they can focus on payloads and overall mission,” said Ian Cinnamon, Chief Executive Officer at Apex.

Max Benassi, Apex’s Chief Technology Officer, added, “Commissioning our first payload was a major milestone for our team, showing that we have successfully completed a full mission scope. We look forward to finishing bus-level commissioning before we help our customers achieve what they need from their payloads.”

Apex’s first set a historical record as the fastest design and build of any production small satellite. Typical manufacturers spend years designing and months building, while Apex completed the clean-sheet design, engineering work, full assembly, integration, test, and launch in just 12 months of our 200kg Aries. Apex is currently producing additional Aries in 2024, with current lead times of a few months.


Ian Cinnamon

First published on Tue, Mar 26, 2024

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Apex Space Manufacturing Spacecraft Manufacturing Satellite Selfie Aries SN1 spacecraft


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