New satcoms get ticket to space through ESA’s Pioneer programme

30 May 2017

Timely, cost-effective opportunities to demonstrate satcom technologies and services in orbit are now available thanks to ESA’s Pioneer partner programme.

Currently, companies looking to prove that their new technologies and services work in space are obliged to search for opportunities in the market. This is difficult, costly and time consuming. Matching the opportunity to launch and validate with the requirements of a mission is a further barrier.

Today, Open Cosmos signed up to the Pioneer partner programme to become the first Space Mission Provider (SMP).

An SMP offers public and private customers a one-stop-shop service that covers all aspects of an in-orbit demonstration campaign. Open Cosmos offers full mission simulation, spacecraft design, integration, testing, launch procurement, frequency allocation, insurance and operations.

Project Sapion will help UK-based Open Cosmos to build upon their existing technologies and develop a service that offers customers cost-effective demonstration missions for payloads of up to 20 kg.

The first Sapion customer will deliver the payload to Open Cosmos for integration, test, launch, in-orbit commission and subsequent payload and satcom service validation.

Magali Vaissiere, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, commented: “ESA’s Pioneer programme will support the development of the infrastructure and service that secures the future commercialisation of new technologies through in-orbit demonstration.”

Aspiring SMPs joining ESA’s Pioneer programme will increase the availability and scope of flight opportunities and boost European industry.

Eventually, SMPs could further expand, offering an extended suite of possible services by developing enabling technologies and working together with the wider European industry, service providers and suppliers.

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ESA and Open Cosmos public–private partnershipAccess the image

Mrs Vaissiere and Rafel Jordà Siquier, founder and CEO at Open Cosmos signed the public–private partnership to launch the Sapion project at the UK Space Conference 2017 in Manchester.

“The Sapion project will establish Open Cosmos as an Space Mission Provider ready to offer a key enabling service that will act as a catalyst for innovation and maturation of space technologies for our customers. Fast access to orbit at a fraction of the price enables our customers to focus on their in-orbit data,” added Mr Siquier.

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