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Argotec Invests $25M in U.S. Business Development and Announces First U.S.-Made Product as a Collaboration with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory  

By 13/10/2023No Comments

Argotec Inc. is launching its U.S. operations in Largo, Maryland, under the direction of a new managing director, Corbett Hoenninger, and focused on deep space communications solutions in collaboration with NASA JPL.  

LARGO, Md., October 11, 2023 – Argotec, a leading company in small satellite production, announced plans for a multimillion-dollar investment to start its U.S. operations and build its manufacturing facility in Largo, Maryland. This 20,000 sq. ft. facility will bring around 100 jobs to the area and will provide a location for Argotec to design, develop, build, test and operate their satellites in the U.S. 

To lead its growing operations, Argotec appointed Corbett Hoenninger as U.S. managing director. Hoenninger has more than 20 years of aerospace engineering experience, including projects for both civil and commercial space markets. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Engineering at Sierra Space. Prior to that, he worked at NASA Johnson Space Center on the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.   

The first product to be manufactured in Argotec’s new U.S. facility will be a custom Universal Space Transponder-Lite to improve radio frequency for satellites in deep space and facilitate a planetary service relay system. This advanced space communications project is a collaboration with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.   

“It’s an exciting time for Argotec. Our recent missions with NASA, including one recognized as an AIAA Mission of the Year, have proved the reliability and performance of our satellites, and we’re ready to take that expertise to the next level with our new U.S. manufacturing facility and in our collaboration with JPL,” said David Avino, Argotec CEO and founder. “These activities reflect our strength and stable growth as a company and demonstrate our commitment to the U.S. market.” 

Argotec will work alongside the team at JPL to consolidate existing UST-Lite designs and create a streamlined product that can deliver high-speed communications services in deep space. Following the prototype phase, Argotec plans to expand production of the custom UST-Lite for commercial space use and has customers already lined up.  

The UST-Lite, originally developed by JPL, is a Software-Defined Radio (SDR) that combines a miniaturized radio package with state-of-the-art processing capabilities. This advanced communications solution is crucial in facilitating reliable transmission and reception in planetary missions, between different sides of the Moon, and also among Earth, Moon and Mars. The UST-lite capabilities enable a multitude of additional cutting-edge technologies and make it a valuable asset for deep space exploration, where reliable communication is essential for mission success. 

Press references:

Space News, Italy’s Argotec to design, build, test and operate satellites in Maryland – SpaceNews

SatNews, Argotec invests million$$ in U.S. business development + collaborates with NASA JPL – SatNews

ViaSatellite, Italian Satellite Manufacturer Argotec Expands Business to the US  – Via Satellite (

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