Open Cosmos launched their 6U MENUT EO smallsat aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-6 rideshare mission on January 3, 2023, with the launch planned and overseen by Exolaunch.
MENUT is part of the OpenCostellation, a global, shared, satellite infrastructure built and managed by Open Cosmos. Countries, institutions and companies are able to contribute their own satellites and create the world’s biggest mutualized constellation. Subsequent Open Cosmos-built smallsats, contributed by leading space organizations in the UK, Spain and Portugal for OpenConstellation, are already being built and will be launched throughout 2023 and 2024.
The OpenConstellation is designed to foster cooperation and drive participation from companies, nonprofits and national and regional governments that may not possess the resources to establish and maintain individual EO constellations. Data sharing and access is managed by Open Cosmos through its DataCosmos software data platform announced in 2022. DataCosmos can draw EO data from OpenConstellation’s satellites as well as from other satellites, drones and ground-based sensors.
MENUT was integrated into the launch vehicle and deployed into SSO by Exolaunch’s EXOpod Nova. The Nova smallsat deployer increases available side panel volume by a factor of four and increases available mass by 30 percent, enabling a wider and more powerful array of nanosatellite designs and use cases.
“We’re delighted to be launching MENUT,” said Aleix Megias, VP of Operations at Open Cosmos. “The project will enable national and regional governments, as well as organisations to access insightful and actionable data from space from a revolutionary shared space infrastructure model. This wouldn’t be possible without partners that share our mission to make space data and infrastructure more accessible and it was great to work closely with Exolaunch to launch MENUT.”
“We are excited for this opportunity to partner with Open Cosmos for the first time, a rapidly rising star in both the UK and European space industries and the NewSpace industry at large,” said Jeanne Allarie, VP Launch at Exolaunch. “Open Cosmos’ goals and values are very much in line with Exolaunch’s: establishing sustainable and easily accessible infrastructure in orbit. This goal is in large part made possible by SpaceX and its ongoing Transporter rideshare missions.”