Pioneer for in-orbit demonstration

Pioneer provides European industry with timely, cost-effective opportunities to validate technologies and services in orbit.

Currently, companies looking to prove that their new satcoms 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 with the requirements of a mission is a further barrier.

With Pioneer, ESA addresses a gap in the market for companies to provide this kind of in-orbit validation to other organisations as Space Mission Providers (SMP).

An SMP offers public and private customers a one-stop-shop service that covers all aspects of an in-orbit demonstration campaign.

ESA supports the first one or two SMP missions to establish the service. After that point, the SMP continues independently as a commercial service.

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.

With Pioneer, ESA aims to reduce the barriers that can impede the development of disruptive ideas and help Europe’s space sector remain at the cutting edge of technological innovation.

Space Mission Providers

Four companies are currently signed up to Pioneer as SMPs, working to develop their in-orbit demonstration service projects.

  • Open Cosmos, UK, with project Sapion.
  • Sitael, IT, with project Striving
  • Airbus, FR, with project IODA
  • Spire Global, UK, with project Space as a Service

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