Capitol Momentum - Jan 2023

D-Orbit signs €2,2 million space debris removal contract with ESA

Image: D-Orbit

Edinburgh, 9 September 2021. – The UK branch of D-Orbit signed a € 2,197 million contract with ESA for phase 1 of the development and in-orbit validation of a “Deorbit Kit”, D-Orbit said.

The agreement is part of ESA’s Space Safety Programme.

The decommissioning kit is a self-contained suite of equipment that can be used with space vehicles of any size. The bespoke kit enables spacecraft to perform a propulsive decommissioning manoeuvre when their mission is over. It can also be used in case of spacecraft failure, even if it has become unresponsive. The kit and the know-how developed will be used in the future for in-orbit installation on satellites already in space, D-Orbit said.

The company will lead a consortium including Airbus Defence and Space, ArianeGroup, GMV Innovating Solutions, and Optimal Structural Solutions to develop the multi-purpose kit. The Deorbit Kit will initially be installed on VESPA (Vega Secondary Payload Adapter), a Vega Rocket payload adapter. It will be expected to perform a propulsive direct re-entry manoeuvre after the rocket has deployed its payload.

The first phase of development for the device is the designing of VESPA´s upper part. This apparatus might become the launch adaptor for ESA’s ClearSpace-1 mission scheduled for 2025.

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