Space logistics company D-Orbit has signed a multiple launch and deployment contract with Swiss IoT-focused nanosatellite company Astrocast.
According to the agreement, D-Orbit will launch 20 of Astrocast’s satellites aboard the ION Satellite Carrier, D-Orbit’s orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) designed to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations of third-party payloads in orbit. The satellites, which will join Astrocast’s constellation of satellites for the Internet of things (IoT), will be delivered to space over a period of three years, through multiple missions.
The first launch, scheduled no sooner than November 2022 aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9, will deploy a batch of four 3U satellites on a 500-600-kilometre Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
Commenting on the agreement, Renato Panesi, D-Orbit’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), said: “We are proud to continue this long-term collaboration with Astrocast, a leading European IoT company. Missions like these are establishing the ION Satellite Carrier as an essential technology to enable innovative space applications that have the potential to revolutionize how we do business here on Earth.”
Two following batches of spacecraft, which include six 6U satellites and 10 6U satellites, will be released in 2023 and 2024 respectively.
Astrocast’s existing low latency nanosatellite IoT network offers customers bidirectional communication between their devices and the company’s global network.
Fabien Jordan, CEO and Co-Founder of Astrocast, added: “We are delighted to work with D-Orbit to extend the Astrocast constellation over the next three years. Our relationship dates back several years and we are pleased with the flexibility and different launch options that D-Orbit has provided us. It is important for European space companies to work together to find solutions that increase the competitiveness of European space, and we believe that working with D-Orbit enables this for Astrocast. We are looking forward to the launch on Falcon-9 and potential future missions on European rockets.”