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Orion Space Solutions Completes Critical Design Review (CDR) for U.S. Warfighter Support

Updated: Jan 4

Orion Space Solution’s Tetra-5 will now proceed to design assembly, integration, and test.


LOUISVILLE, Colo., January 2, 2024—Orion Space Solutions (Orion), a wholly owned subsidiary of Arcfield, announced today that it successfully completed its critical design review (CDR) on the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command and Air Force Research Laboratory Tetra-5 program. The Tetra-5 mission will demonstrate multi-agent autonomous rendezvous, proximity operations and docking operations for on-orbit refueling.

small satellites floating in space around earth
Render of Orion's Tetra-5 Spacecraft.

On the Tetra-5 program, Orion is tasked with addressing the challenge of refueling in space which will ultimately extend the lifetime of spacecraft already in orbit. Orion and its team will deliver a constellation of three prototype spacecraft with autonomous collaboration capabilities that will have at least a two-year mission life at geostationary Earth orbit. Specifically, Orion and its team will demonstrate key docking capabilities for on-orbit refueling and next-generation autonomous collaboration techniques for inspection as a precursor for on-orbit servicing and anomaly resolution.


The CDR, which maintained an accelerated pace and was completed within 13 months of the award announcement, marks a significant milestone for the Tetra-5 mission.


“Having completed a successful CDR, Orion and our extended team look forward to continuing the successful collaboration and partnership with our government customer as we begin production work on the Tetra-5 vehicles and sensors,” said William Armijo, Orion’s vice president of space systems. “This achievement is not only a testament to Orion’s agility and innovation but expands the portfolio of space-based solutions we can deliver to our mission partners.”

The Orion team was awarded the Tetra-5 program in 2022 and teammates include Hera Systems, Inc.; Booz Allen Hamilton; SCOUT Space Inc.; Sedaro; Utah State University; and ICR, Inc.  


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