SEATTLE — The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has awarded contracts to Ball Aerospace and Space Systems Loral to develop designs for a privately funded satellite to track methane emissions.
EDF announced Jan. 10 that the two companies had received study contracts, with an overall value of $1.5 million, to advance concepts for MethaneSAT, a spacecraft designed to monitor human-generated methane emissions worldwide. EDF said it selected the two companies from nearly two dozen firms that expressed an interest in the project.
The companies will spend the next several months refining their designs for MethaneSAT. EDF plans to then choose one of the companies to build the spacecraft for launch in 2021, but didn’t specify when that downselect would take place.
“We’ve had the opportunity to work with the some of the most capable companies in the space industry,” Tom Ingersoll, the project manager for MethaneSAT at EDL and former chief executive of Skybox Imaging, in a statement. “Ball and SSL are the two we feel are best positioned to make this challenging mission a success.”
SSL, a division of Maxar Technologies, said in a separate statement it will work with DigitalGlobe, also owned by Maxar, on its MethaneSAT bid, with ...