Open Cosmos has been contracted by the Satellite Applications Catapult to provide its fast and affordable space mission service to the In-Orbit Demonstration program (IOD-6). This will enable the space technologies with the best commercial capabilities to benefit from Open Cosmos’ 6U full mission services.
The Satellite Applications Catapult is expanding with this mission its landmark In-Orbit Demonstration (IOD) Programme offering IOD-6. In collaboration with Open Cosmos, the IOD-6 mission offers companies the opportunity to trial their service using a larger 6U CubeSat platform in a diverse range of orbit options. By demonstrating the operational capability of their service through IOD-6, companies are in a stronger position to secure investment and customers. Successful candidates will be able to design, develop and launch their IOD-6 mission within 18 months.
Open Cosmos will be working with the successful candidate to integrate the payload and simulate the mission performance on qbkit and qbapp. Once the payload is validated, Open Cosmos will provide a one-stop-shop mission service integrating the payload in a 6U qbee multipurpose nanosatellite, performing full functional and environmental tests, procuring the launch and enabling the successful candidate to operate the payload in orbit through their qbapp mission control software. The Satellite Applications Catapult will provide comprehensive mission, operations and business support to help the company accelerate to operational capability and initial service delivery. The IOD-6 mission is supported by a grant of £700,000 from the UK Space Agency.
Rafael Jorda Siquier, CEO and Founder, Open Cosmos said: “At Open Cosmos, we are obsessed in making space accessible so organizations of all sizes and industries can solve the world biggest challenges. We are delighted that the IOD-6 Programme have contracted our space mission services to bring to orbit the most competitive service oriented space technologies. There is no better way to demonstrate.”
Stuart Martin, CEO, Satellite Applications Catapult said: “The UK is the only country in the world to offer an In-Orbit Demonstration Programme. By lowering the cost of access to space and accelerating services to market, IOD addresses key barriers to innovation in the sector. IOD-6 is a great opportunity for companies looking for a larger satellite platform and represents a significant milestone in the IOD programme. We are looking forward to working with Open Cosmos to deliver the mission. They are a great addition to the IOD programme network and part of a wider dynamic and entrepreneurial community that is driving growth in the UK space sector.”
Catherine Mealing-Jones, Director for Growth, UK Space Agency said: “We recognise that low cost access to space is vital in developing a range of innovative space applications which will help grow the UK space sector. We are working hard with partners, including the Satellite Applications Catapult, to make space more accessible. This exciting mission with Open Cosmos is a great example of the support out there for small companies with big ideas.”
The Harwell Space Cluster is attracting significant private investment into the UK’s thriving space sector, with venture capitalist and private wealth funding focusing on companies at Harwell Campus. The UK Government’s 2017 decision to locate the £99 million National Satellite Testing Facility at Harwell, the Cluster’s active involvement in the launch of the ‘Prosperity from Space’ initiative and in the Space Sector Deal, all place the Harwell Space community at the heart of the UK Space sector of today and tomorrow.
Open Cosmos assembles and tests high-quality small satellites at their on-site clean room, in an Electrostatic discharge safe environment, free from potentially electronically conductive particles and dust filtered through HEPA clean air (UHCA) networked fan filter modules. Functional tests at hot and cold temperatures of hardware are performed, ranging from -40ºC to +80ºC.
Open Cosmos will be announcing involvement in IOD-6 today at the New Space Showcase, hosted by the Harwell Space Cluster and attended by HRH The Duke of York.