Open Space: Payloads For The People

Payloads make a satellite work. They do the hard stuff, zooming in on Earth for images taken thousands of miles away and transmitting live to Bogota what’s happening in Beijing. The technology in satellite payloads makes our world tick, from predicting the weather to navigating on the ground to piloting the congested airspace above. But what’s the next big thing (or little thing)? What will move the future closer? We’re on it, but we know you are, too.

Let’s work together.

Open Space

Opening Up


For the first time, Lockheed Martin is making technical documents for its satellite buses available to the public. This information helps people with payload ideas design technologies that work seamlessly with our satellites. Why’s that important? Instead of designing in a silo, our technical information can help you design for the whole system.

We call this initiative “Open Space.” The goal is to help more companies and innovators like you do amazing things in space, and to create new avenues for collaboration so we can move faster to tackle our customers’ most pressing challenges. We’re ready to help new companies integrate their groundbreaking technologies with powerful satellite platforms. We believe there’s significant untapped potential out there waiting to be unleashed.

Our payload experts are collocated with satellite bus experts, so development, production and test are all within a short walk of each other. With our help, we could speed your way to securing a customer and a launch slot.


How Does it Work?


Below you have technical papers that form the base of our Interface Control Documents for three of our satellite buses.  Just click the icon to download the spec and see how our variety of small and large buses can support your concepts.

LM 50
LM 400
LM 2100

‘I Have a Concept, Just Need a Ride’


If you have a payload concept but still searching for a way to make it to space, let’s talk. From Feb. 7 through May 11, submit your concept below, and a senior panel of our technical and business experts will review each concept to see if we can match you up with a customer and launch opportunity. For now, please keep your concept non-proprietary. If we think there’s an opportunity to collaborate, we’ll follow up to get into the details.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I downloaded the connection specs, what’s next?

A: Use the information as you design your payload. If you need technical help, ask a question here.

Q. I’m submitting a payload concept. How do you handle propriety information if we submit a concept?

A:  We encourage you to include a general non-proprietary description of your payload concept, and if appropriate we’ll follow up for technical specifics and to put in place a confidentiality agreement, if needed. Do not share information that is owned by a person or entity other than yourself (e.g., your employer).

Q: I’m submitting a payload concept. How soon can you launch my concept?

A: There’s a variety of ways payloads can achieve orbit, depending on the customer and launch opportunity. Each payload technology could have a different path depending on these variables, and if your idea is selected, we’ll pursue the best option for you.

Q: I’m considering submitting a payload concept. Do you welcome concepts from outside the US?

A: We welcome all concepts, especially some that have broad application across customer sets. If you are not a U.S. Person (meaning generally that you are not a US citizen or do not represent a company organized to do business in the U.S.) we will need to gather some information from you first and then obtain necessary approvals before we can work with you and/or your company on your concept. 

Get to know our expertise in the payloads we built here:

RF Payload Center of Excellence

Optical Payload Center of Excellence