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A Highly Reliable, Resilient Spacecraft for the Most Challenging and Essential Missions

Northrop Grumman’s Eagle-3 spacecraft is built for the missions that can’t fail.

From missile warning and strategic communications to scientific discovery, Eagle-3’s modular design meets the most stringent integration and operational requirements for the most demanding payloads.  

Eagle-3 couples agility and precision pointing with electronics and thermal systems able to withstand the most extreme environments, making it ideal for any orbit. Its proven hardware, software and reliable avionics provides our customers a spacecraft they can count on.

Data Sheet: Eagle-3
Northrop Grumman employees working on space craft

Robust and Agile Payload Accommodations

Eagle-3 has successfully flown some of the most sensitive payloads ever built. It is ideal for missions that require custom thermal, electromagnetic and structural isolation. The shorter, stackable Eagle-3 variant supports multi-vehicle launches for missions requiring less payload volume. Its scalable, composite structure can accommodate up to three tons of payload mass.

High Value Mission Capabilities

  • Proven guidance, navigation and control sensors, drive electronics, and software, enable precise inertial attitude and celestial navigation using ephemeris information, breaking the reliance on GPS.
  • Accurate and agile pointing using reaction wheels, control moment gyro, magnetic toque rod and thruster options.
  • Modular propulsion system provides up to 2.6 km/s of Delta V.
  • Monopropellant, bi-propellant, dual-mode and electric propulsion options achieve final orbit injection, maneuvering, attitude control and station keeping.

Meeting Critical Mission Needs

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High Precision Attitude Control

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Delta V

260 to 2600 m/sec (chemical, storable), optional electric propulsion

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Bus Features

Tailorable to mission with active support subsystems

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SGLS, USB TT&C, Ka-band > 1 Gbps, plus options for other bands, cross links, trusted optical, etc.

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Payload Power

Up to 6.4 kW regulated or 11 kW battery-clamped, higher power available

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Launch Vehicle

Falcon 9/9H, Atlas V, Vulcan, Ariane 5/6, New Glenn

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Class A or B

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Payload Mass

Up to 3,000 kg

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LEO, MEO, HEO, GEO, cis-Lunar, or planetary

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Design Life

Five to fifteen years

Eagle-3 Bus: Proven Reliability and Resiliency

  • Meets highest mission assurance standards.
  • Adaptable to any orbit with electronics hardened for harsh environments.
  • Full cross-strapped / redundant avionics / power design based on flight-proven avionics.
  • Proven “dead bus” auto recovery.
  • Agile, wide band communications, nuclear radiation hardening and other options.

Five Eagle-3 variants offer a wide range of critical mission capabilities

More than 10 Eagle-3 vehicles are proving the spacecraft’s reliability on orbit, with additional units in development. High-quality design, integration, assembly, test sets and facilities, and rigorous processes support Class A or B spacecraft requirements.

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Eagle-3A — Full capability national security missions, with resilience and survivability.

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Eagle-3B — Smaller payloads for critical missions and minimum height bus, stackable up to four per launch.

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Eagle-3C — USSF missions, Integrated SIS equipment, centralized payload manager.

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Eagle-3D — Tailored to cis-lunar and deep space missions operations and payloads.

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Eagle-3E — Environmental observation, weather, civil, and commercial Earth-orbit missions.

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Heritage of reliability built in a first-in-quality facility

Our modernized factory ensures maximum production efficiency that helps make Class A and B Eagle-3s affordable, while decreasing build times to accommodate fast turnarounds.

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Space Vehicle & Payload Products