AST&Science has closed a deal that will give it controlling interest in the European satellite manufacturer and system integrator NanoAvionics. While NanoAvionics’s key executives and management team will remain unchanged under the leadership of CEO Vytenis Buzas and CCO Linas Sargautis, Abel Avellan, chairman and CEO of AST&Science, will become chairman of the company’s board.
NanoAvionics is a satellite platform manufacturer and mission integrator for satellites weighing less than 50 kg (110.2 lbs). Its flagship multi-purpose M6P is the first preconfigured nano-satellite platform in the sector, designed to serve emerging commercial space markets. The company’s efforts are focused on enabling critical satellite functions and optimising their launch, hardware and operating costs – ranging from single missions to constellations. Its core engineering team has implemented over 40 successful satellite missions during the past several years.
Speaking about the deal, Avellan said: “NanoAvionics’ existing programmes with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission, its track-record of successful satellite deployments, proprietary technologies for navigation and propulsion, and the abundant technical knowhow and vibrant energy throughout their company were key decision factors in our investment.”
Avellan commented that the investment into NanoAvionics will be used to expand its manufacturing capabilities both in Europe and the United States.
“NanoAvionics has made a huge leap in small satellite technologies during the past few years. The capital infusion, along with the involvement of the broadly experienced AST&Science management team, will be a significant contributing factor in entering the U.S. market and successful further commercialisation of our products. Our combined venture will be focused on a goal to become a go-to company for manufacturing and launching small satellite constellations for businesses worldwide,” said Buzas.
In June 2017, NanoAvionics launched its second satellite under the European Commission’s QB50 project dedicated to atmospheric research. In addition to the scientific study, the satellite performed an important validation of an innovative green chemical propulsion system for small satellites developed by NanoAvionics. It was the first liquid chemical propulsion propelled nano-spacecraft in the history of the space-tech industry.