- Satellite Evolution Group
First lunar constellation satellite to travel to the Moon in 2023
Plus Ultra Space Outpost and Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA) have jointly signed an agreement for launching a demonstrator mission to the Moon.
RFA will launch Plus Ultra’s demonstrator mission towards the end of 2023 on the RFA ONE launch system. Plus Ultra's first satellite will launch into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), from where it will use its own propulsion to reach lunar orbit and become the first satellite to initialise Plus Ultra’s cis-lunar constellation 'Harmony.' The satellite will also be the first private orbiter with electric propulsion going to and orbiting the Moon.
Through Harmony’s commercial communications and navigation services for upcoming lunar missions, Plus Ultra will change the paradigm of lunar operations. It’ll turn communications and navigation from a carefully managed resource into an on-demand, dependable service that enables new capabilities on the Moon, like continuous remote operations, pinpoint landings, precise surface navigation, and polar and far side access.
The satellite will reach its operational orbit in 2024, providing the first 24/7 high-speed broadband communications of up to 100Mbps per user between the Moon, including cis-lunar orbit, and anywhere on Earth.
Jörn Spurmann, chief commercial officer: "It is very encouraging to see new business models emerge for commercial services in the cis-lunar orbit. We are particularly proud that Plus Ultra has chosen our launch system RFA ONE confirming our traction in the launch service market."
Carlos Manuel Entrena Utrilla, founder and chief executive officer of Plus Ultra, said: “We are aiming to become the backbone of the cis-lunar industry. With more than 140 lunar missions planned for this decade, more than all Moon missions in history combined, the upcoming lunar market is prime for disruption.”
Sebastian Ströhl, founder and chief commercial officer of Plus Ultra said: “RFA’s launch vehicle fits our needs perfectly in performance and price, and will allow us to get an early start in the race for the lunar economy.”