SL1 is a three-stage, hybrid rocket designed to transport to LEO satellites of up to 500 kg. ION Satellite Carrier (ION) is D-Orbit’s proprietary orbital transportation vehicle designed to ferry a batch of satellites across orbits and release each satellite into a customized orbital slot, while at the same time operating multiple hosted payloads during a single mission.
This partnership will offer, for the first time, a combination of a launcher and orbital transportation vehicle that maximizes the mass of SL1’s payload to SSO and leverages ION Satellite Carrier to deploy satellites into orbits with distinct values of parameters like altitude, inclination and local time of the ascending node (LTAN).
The scope of the contract includes a study of a late payload integration that will enable third parties to board the launch vehicle as late as possible for use cases such as preserving pharmaceutical and biological payloads, apply last-minute changes to the manifest, and replace payloads that are suffering development delay with others that are ready-for-fly. The joint mission is targeted to launch in 2025.
“This contract marks the start of an alliance that will provide the first all-European rideshare launch service that enables smaller satellite operators to reach orbits previously out of reach for this category of spacecraft,” said Matteo Bartolini, D-Orbit’s Launch Manager. “By partnering with the launcher at mission design level, we can optimize the mass and other mission resources, significantly pushing the envelope of what we can do in terms of in-orbit transportation. This first partnership represents a major step in that direction, and we are proud of the fact that the entire operation will be done here in Europe with European resources.”
“We are excited to work together with D-Orbit and explore opportunities for future joint missions. By using our Small Launcher SL1 and D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier, we are confident to satisfy all requirements of our customers. D-Orbit and HyImpulse both are great examples of innovative European NewSpace companies and together we offer new and disruptive solutions to the growing market,” said Dr. Mario Kobald, CEO of HyImpulse.