The approximately $2 million contract is part of the ESA Programme BOOST.
D-Orbit, the Italian space logistics and transportation company form Fino Mornasco (CO) that is going public through a transaction with Breeze Holdings Acquisition Corp, has signed a €1,950,343 (approximately $2 million) contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) under BOOST, the Agency’s Commercial Space Transportation Services and Support to Member States Programme.
The sum represents 80% of the total budget of the activities to be carried out in the frame of the contract. Through this contract ESA will provide funding for the development of an improved production system by introducing lean manufacturing principles and testing that will enable D-Orbit to increase the performance and responsiveness of its proprietary orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) ION Satellite Carrier (ION), while driving down the cost.
The contract also anticipates the improvement of various subsystems, including those involved in orbital maneuvering. Since September 2020, D-Orbit has successfully operated six orbital transportation missions, with three more planned for the remainder of 2022, and 13 scheduled for 2023. The kick-off meeting took place on May 5, 2022, and the expected duration of the program is 12 months.
“We are excited about this opportunity to expand our existing collaboration with ESA - commented Stefano Antonetti, D-Orbit’s VP of Business Development -. The BOOST program, which is perfectly aligned with our goal to build a space logistic infrastructure, is a demonstration of ESA’s focus on strategic goals that will set apart and advance the European space industry in key areas like space transportation”.
BOOST is an ESA program designed to foster commercial space transportation initiatives like spaceports, testing facilities, and associated services, to promote the development of responsive launch capabilities for smaller satellites via microlaunchers (small rockets designed to launch satellites into Low Earth Orbit). This will allow satellite operators to benefit from more launch opportunities with vehicles that can be rapidly integrated with payloads at competitive prices. The program provides funding for the pre-commercial development of innovative European space transportation services that include launch opportunities, in-space transportation services, and return from space capabilities. D-Orbit signed another contract under the BOOST framework in June 2021 for the coordination of logistics and standardization of processes between different European spaceports and launch providers in order to provide a unified framework similar to the aviation industry.
D-Orbit is a market leader in the space logistics and transportation services industry with a track record of space-proven technologies and successful missions. Founded in 2011, before the dawn of the New Space market, D-Orbit is the first company addressing the logistics needs of the space market. ION Satellite Carrier, for example, is a space vehicle that can transport satellites in orbit and release them individually into distinct orbital slots, D-Orbit Signs Contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Improvement of Production Capabilities Related to Space Transportation reducing the time from launch to operations by up to 85% and the launch costs of an entire satellite constellation by up to 40%. ION can also accommodate multiple third-party payloads like innovative technologies developed by startups, experiments from research entities, and instruments from traditional space companies requiring a test in orbit.
D-Orbit is a space infrastructure pioneer with offices in Italy, Portugal, the UK, and the US; its commitment to pursuing business models that are profitable, friendly for the environment, and socially beneficial, led to D-Orbit S.p.A. becoming the first certified B-Corp space company in the world. As previously announced on January 27, 2022, D-Orbit has entered into a business combination agreement among Breeze Holdings Acquisition Corp. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including certain governmental approvals and the approval of the shareholders of Breeze Holdings and the contribution of the D-Orbit shares by the D-Orbit shareholders.