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ESA Awards InRange Contract to Three Companies

Credit: Skyrora / ESA

Ibadan, 12 October 2023 – The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Skyrora, Viasat, and CGI a contract under the Commercial Space Transportation Services program to demonstrate InRange, a space-based launch vehicle telemetry relay system which will benefit launch vehicle providers across the industry globally. InRange will enable Skyrora to continuously transmit telemetry data during flight, from launch to payload deployment.

Existing ground stations are currently limited in connecting with launch vehicles moving beyond the horizon, resulting in the potential loss of crucial data. However, the InRange relay system will use geostationary satellites to enable continuous data transmission between the launch vehicle and service provider during the entire flight – a vital issue for launch providers and essential for Skyrora’s upcoming launch plans from the Saxavord spaceport.

Speaking on the new telemetry relay system, Volodymyr Levykin, CEO and Founder of Skyrora, said: “This partnership between Skyrora, Viasat and CGI is a testament to the critical relationships and collaboration between space tech companies that ensures safe access to and activity in space. This will save companies millions of pounds, in addition to reducing the amount of space junk, which not only clogs space and disrupts our skyline, but can also fall to Earth and cause both human and infrastructural damage.”

The collaboration between UK-based Skyrora, Inmarsat and CGI can accelerate the ability to launch from Scotland. According to Matt Archer, Director of Launch at the UK Space Agency, it will also bring together “the wealth of science, technology and engineering expertise that we have in the UK, both to advance British launch services and to move the global space sector towards a more efficient and sustainable use of space.”

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