D-Orbit launches its first ION Satellite Carrier

The maiden flight of ION had to be scrapped in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and again in August due to persistent adverse weather conditions

D-Orbit launches its first ION Satellite Carrier
D-Orbit launches its first ION Satellite Carrier

D-Orbit launches its first ION Satellite Carrier

D-Orbit was founded by Luca Rossettini, founder and CEO, and Renato Panesi, founder and CCO and is a portfolio company of the vertically integrated Noosphere Ventures. It recently delivered its first ION Satellite Carrier and successfully tested the orbital transport system.

The maiden flight of ION had to be scrapped in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and again in August due to persistent adverse weather conditions. Finally, on September 3 at 3:51:10 a.m. (CEST), ION SVC LUCAS lifted far away from the Vega Launch Complex in Kourou, French Guiana aboard an Arianespace Vega rocket on the VV16 Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept Flight.

 The rocket placed ION in a Sun-Synchronous orbit at approximately 515 km with the satellite separating correctly from the dispenser at 4:43:45 a.m. Within the coming weeks, ION will perform its mission, named Origin, by deploying a flock of 12 Planet SuperDoves satellites, performing in-orbit demonstration/validation of dedicated payloads, and testing the onboard propulsion module.

Luca Rossettini, CEO D-Orbit, commented about the launch and said that the ION Satellite Carrier is a complete spacecraft, with its avionics, electrical and power, attitude and thermal control, along with precise command and data handling subsystems.

Throughout its mission, it can guarantee the discharge of all satellites at different attitudes which may be considered as a replacement stage of a rocket. This is often a crucial milestone for launch services and for all NewSpace companies because ION can deliver the satellite constellation faster and with lower costs to different orbits.