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  • Satellite Evolution

D-Orbit enters agreement with Beyond Gravity on space components in support of ESA Space Rider

D-Orbit, the space logistics and orbital transportation company, has announced the signing of a subcontract with space company Beyond Gravity, under which D-Orbit will deliver lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) tools and metallic structural components for the European Space Agency’s Space Rider reusable space vehicle. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

D-Orbit was selected for its experience and established know-how in space projects. It will supply the CFRP tooling and metallic structural flight hardware components. D-Orbit will also coordinate and monitor the work of Italian suppliers, to ensure that the production and documentation follows the space industry’s best practices.

“Beyond Gravity is one of the leading European companies in satellite structures, and their decision to partner with us is an exciting milestone for D-Orbit,” said Renato Panesi, Ph.D., D-Orbit’s Chief Commercial Officer. “We believe this kind of project, featuring collaboration between traditional and New Space companies, is essential for the future of the new space economy. We look forward to working closely with the Beyond Gravity team.”

“As a leading supplier of products for the space industry, it is important for us to keep our finger on the pulse and continue to offer the best solutions for tomorrow's market, also thanks to partnerships with innovative and reliable players such as D-Orbit," says Eric Wiesmann, Director Subsystems, Thermal and Structures at Beyond Gravity Space.

The Space Rider spacecraft, which will be built by prime contractor Thales Alenia Space, is an automatic, uncrewed laboratory designed to perform technology demonstration and pharmaceutics, biomedicine, biology, and physical science experiments over missions lasting up to two months. A key feature of Space Rider is the ability to re-enter the atmosphere to return experiment results, land on a runway, and fly multiple times, a mission profile that will validate Europe’s know-how in operating missions in low Earth orbit. Space Rider’s maiden mission is expected to launch in 2023.

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