• Laurence Russell

At IAC 2022, Latitude takes micro-satellites on tailormade trips to space

Latitude, the French start-up specialized in the development of space micro-launchers and rocket engines, takes NewSpace to supersonic speed at IAC 2022, the world mecca of aeronautics.

Latitude’s ambition is to offer affordable, cost-efficient and customizable access to the orbit through an all-in-one service, from factory to space. Its main service is Zephyr, the 1st French micro-launcher in half a century! Integrating a 3D-printed engine, this 17-meters rocket will send nanosatellites to space. With Zephyr, Latitude marks the end of “one-size-fits-all” for close orbit launchers. Demos & simulations will be taking place at IAC Paris, September 18-22, booth H4.

A Simple, Reactive, and Affordable Launch Solution for Nanosats

Zephyr is the leading French initiative in the path of a dedicated access to space for nanosatellites. It will be able to transport shoebox-sized mini-satellites weighing less than 100kg, for different purposes – like a tailormade trip! Its advantages include:

  • Orbit flexibility

  • Quick process: only 6 months from booking to launch

  • A 3D-printed engine which is printed in only one week

  • A 17-meter-high & 1.2m diameter rocket with a capacity to send several nanosatellites

According to Stanislas Maximin, CEO & co-founder of Latitude, and president of the NewSpace alliance, “Nanosatellites reinvent access to space and open to new scientific and commercial opportunities. They are small, affordable and can be developed and sent to space in a couple of months, compared to traditional satellites which require years of development and hundreds of millions of investments. At Latitude, we develop Zephyr to meet these new demands: our future clients will benefit from more slots and more flexibility to launch, and in the end provide their payload with more latitude to reach orbit.”

A New Orbital Opportunity for Operators, in 3D Printing!

The first orbital flight of Zephyr will take place in 2024, with 50 flights every year by 2030. Navier Mark I is the first iteration of its 3D-printed engine. It’s the test engine version of Navier. It will be followed by a second version, Navier Mark II. Navier MKII will power Zephyr during the maiden launch which will take place in 2024 and following. Hence, Navier Mark I helps our different technical departments to optimize their work towards Navier Mark II.

The test version of Navier will be tested before the end of the year. Regarding the flight-optimized engine, it will be tested in 2023. Different tests will take place such as single-engine test, cluster test and test of Navier MKII SL, the atmospheric-optimized Navier MKII version and Navier MKII vacuum, the space-optimized Navier MKII version.

Latitude: Successfully Paving its Way to Orbit

According to Euroconsult, the nanosatellite market is expected to be worth USD 4.317 billion from 2020 to 2030. Indeed, nanosatellites offer services such as:

  • Monitoring natural disasters on Earth to provide fast information to affected nations or access to emergency services

  • Monitoring natural resources such as farm fields to feed millions

  • Determining the true value of gas emissions per country

  • Sea surveillance and defense, etc.

Since moving in its first micro-launcher factory in Reims in October 2021, Latitude has rapidly achieved several milestones thus becoming one of the major players worldwide. After closing a €10 million Series A funding round last July, the company was selected by the French space agency to integrate Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana among 7 others as alternatives for projects of constellations of satellites like Starlink or OneWeb.

Latitude is backed by major players such as CNES, CNRS, Comat, Safran and ONERA. Its partners include the European leader Saturne Technology that 3D-prints the engine Navier Mark I, SaxaVord Space Port, launch infrastructure in Unst, in the Shetland Archipel, ShareMySpace, startup specializing in spatial monitoring, etc.

Technical Specifications

PAYLOAD

  • LEO - 100Kg

  • SSO/Polar - 70 Kg

DIMENSIONS

  • Overall Length - 17 m

  • Diameter - 1.2 m

STAGE I

  • Engine - 9x Navier Sea Level

  • Propellant - LOX/RP1

  • Fully 3D Printed Engine

STAGE II

  • Engine - 1x Navier Vacuum

  • Propellant - LOX/RP1

  • Fully 3D Printed Engine