Marubeni Corporation, Interstellar Technologies Inc., and D-Orbit SpA have recently signed a Letter of Intent to study the development of an agile satellite release system to be mounted on the small satellite launch vehicle named “ZERO”.
Marubeni started its business collaboration with IST in 2016. Since then, Marubeni has commissioned research to IST and has been supporting the company’s sales and marketing efforts in Japan and overseas.
IST is a New Space company developing MOMO, a sounding rocket that is capable of launching to an altitude of 100km to perform short-term experiments in micro-gravity. The company also develops ZERO, a small satellite orbital launch rocket for spacecrafts of up to 100kg. In November 2019, Marubeni entered into a capital partnership with IST via an investment. Since then, both companies have continued to enhance this partnership.
The latest addition to this collaboration is D-Orbit, an Italian New Space company with a focus on orbital transportation. The company’s core service is InOrbit NOW, a launch and deployment service that leverages DOrbit’s proprietary technology. According to the needs of the mission, InOrbit Now allows the client to deploy its payload both through deployers, called DPOD, or ION CubeSat Carrier, a satellite platform able to host a batch of small satellites and deploy them with an extremely low tumbling rate in their precise operational orbit.
“Through this cooperation with IST and D-Orbit, we are confident that our team can offer and arrange small satellite transportation services in a timely manner to appropriate orbit for wide range of satelliate operators, not only for European and Asian market”, commented Tomomichi Inomoto, General Manager, Defense and Space Section, Marubeni Corporation.
“IST’s ultimate goal is to make space accessible to everyone, to make space part of our daily lives. IST aims to become the first non-governmental company in Japan to be able to offer commercial launch services; this is a significant step forward in that direction for both us and our customers” said Takahiro Inagawa, Interstellar Technologie’s Inc. CEO.
“It is an honor to have the chance to work with companies like Marubeni and IST”, commented Renato Panesi, D-Orbit CCO. “I believe that the development of such a promising collaboration will bring us closer to our goal of defining a new standard in the space transportation and logistics industry.”
This partnership was announced on 14 April 2020.