D-Orbit, a space logistics and transportation company, has announced the upcoming launch of Wild Ride, the third mission of its proprietary space transportation vehicle In-Orbit Now (ION) Satellite Carrier. Scheduled to lift-off in June 2021, the vehicle, called ION SCV Dauntless David, will deploy six satellites into distinct orbits and perform the in-orbit demonstration of three payloads. This mission, which serves clients from 12 different nationalities, will increase the total number of payloads launched by D-Orbit to 54.
Customers for the third ION mission, which D-Orbit calls Wild Ride, include Elecnor Deimos of Spain, Bulgaria’s EnduroSat and Kuwaiti Orbital Space.
In addition, Finland’s Reaktor Space, Marshall Intech Technology of the United Arab Emirates and the Royal Thai Airforce are integrating payloads in a QuadPack from ISISpace, the Dutch satellite manufacturer and space services firm.
Speaking about the upcoming launch, Luca Rossettini, CEO of D-Orbit, said: “Besides the many technical advances, this mission marks a major milestone for us: an international collaboration involving companies and institutional organisations from 11 nations, the largest we have had so far. This is a testament to how borderless the space ecosystem truly is. Its rapid expansion, and the global services it is creating, will substantially improve life on Earth and mark this new decade in ways that we can’t even imagine right now.”
The mission, which will start on a 500 km Sun synchronous orbit (SSO), will go through four phases: satellite deployment, in-orbit demonstration of the payloads hosted onboard, testing of D-Orbit’s advanced services, and decommissioning.
The entire mission, including operations on payloads, will be managed by D-Orbit’s mission controllers through Aurora, the company’s proprietary cloud-based mission control software suite that enables satellite operators to manage and control multiple payloads simultaneously, from any location in the World.
The mission will also feature a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) experiment in collaboration with media artist Daniela de Paulis and INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica). The experiment, which investigates the possibility to communicate with other kinds of life in the universe, consists in the transmission of simulated alien messages to be received and decoded by radio telescopes worldwide.
Renato Panesi, the company’s CCO, added: “We are very excited about this mission; the great variety of payloads onboard, the purpose of their single missions, so many of which targeting sustainable purposes, innovative challenges, and great technological advancements, make this mission quite unique. While the best part has yet to come, this has already been an extremely rewarding experience.”