Advanced Television

Boeing to boost satellite manufacturing

March 25, 2024

By Chris Forrester

Boeing’s famous El Segundo, California satellite factory has been turning out satellites since 1955 when it was purchased by Howard Hughes and his Aerospace Group. It had previously turned out cars including the Nash Rambler.

It was the production home of the equally famous Hughes HS series of satellites including the HS-376 ‘spinners’ (the first-ever satellite to be launched by the Space Shuttle) and then the HS-601 and HS-702 ‘birds’ which were bought over the years by PanAmSat, Intelsat, AsiaSat and SES and in the modified 702HP versions by DirecTV, ABS, SES, Telesat, Inmarsat and Intelsat amongst others.

Boeing bought Millenium Space Systems in 2018, also based at El Segundo, which was incorporated into Boeing’s Satellite Development Centre and which – in part – turns out missiles as well as satellites.

Between the two facilities Boeing now says it is going to significantly boost output with a target of 60 satellites per year, and growing in number thereafter. The two facilities employ around 1,000 staff.

Michelle Parker, VP at Boeing’s Space Mission Systems, in a Washington DC interview at the Satellite 2024 event, says about 80 per cent of satellite is now produced in-house.

“[We have set up] the production line so that we can produce, in the current footprint, about 60 satellites a year, and then we have plans, as they continue to grow, to replicate that until we get to 120 or 180 satellites a year within our factory footprint,” she said.

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