Exolaunch Wins Public Tender of the European Space Agency for Launch and Deployment of the Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS)
The AWS satellite is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX rideshare mission no earlier than June 2024
Image: © OHB Sweden
Berlin, Germany — 31 January 2024 — Exolaunch — the premier global provider of launch mission management, integration and deployment services for the New Space industry – won a public tender and signed its first launch contract with the European Space Agency for launch services arrangement, integration, and deployment of the pioneering Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS). The contract highlights Exolaunch’s commitment to supporting the fast-growing European space sector while underscoring the company’s prominence in launch mission management and deployment services.
The Arctic Weather Satellite (AWS) is a microsatellite carrying a 19-channel microwave radiometer, covering the frequency range 50–325 GHz to provide high-resolution temperature and humidity profiles in all weather conditions. The mission has been designed to improve weather forecasts in the Arctic – a region that currently lacks data for accurate short-term forecasts. The EUMETSAT Polar System-Sterna mission is foreseen as the follow-on to the AWS. OHB Sweden leads the AWS industrial consortium, that includes 31 companies, including 14 small and medium-sized enterprises.
“We are excited to work with Exolaunch to provide Launch service for the Arctic Weather Satellite,” said Ville Kangas, project manager of Arctic Weather Satellite at ESA. “Exolaunch is of paramount importance to guarantee the mission’s schedule and timely start of the AWS weather data distribution to the end users.”
The AWS satellite is scheduled to launch no earlier than June 2024 on a SpaceX rideshare mission to a sun-synchronous orbit above 500 km. It will add to the number of successful deployments of small satellites through a multi-launch agreement between Exolaunch and SpaceX. Upon launch, the AWS satellite will be deployed by the Exolaunch’s flight-proven proprietary satellite separation system, CarboNIX. CarboNIX is the lowest-shock and lowest-tumbling separation system ever used in space, with a patented synchronous spring pusher system that smoothly deploys satellites.
"Securing our first launch contract with the European Space Agency marks a significant milestone in Exolaunch's journey. This collaboration is not just about a single mission; it's about establishing a foundation of trust with a prestigious institution like ESA,” said Exolaunch Chief Commercial Officer Jeanne Allarie. “Our extensive experience, demonstrated through the past successful deployments of over 350 customer satellites, has honed our ability to navigate complex technical and regulatory challenges, ensuring seamless launch campaigns for our global customers. As we embark on this pivotal project, we're dedicated to channeling our proven expertise in rideshare missions and efficient launch cadence to foster the impactful European space programs."
Exolaunch (Germany, USA) is a global leader in launch mission integration and deployment technologies for the New Space industry. With a decade of flight heritage and over 350 satellites launched across 24 missions (as of December 2023), Exolaunch leverages industry insight to tailor turn-key solutions that meet customer needs and respond to market trends. Exolaunch fulfills launch contracts for New Space industry leaders, the world's most innovative start-ups, research institutions, government organizations and space agencies around the world. The company develops and manufactures its own flight-proven and industry-leading small satellite separation systems, with the fastest growing heritage on the market. Exolaunch is committed to making space accessible to all and to promoting its safe, sustainable, and responsible use.
For more information, please visit www.exolaunch.com
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The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe's gateway to space.
ESA is an intergovernmental organization, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.
ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuania are Associate Members.
ESA has established formal cooperation with five Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.
By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. The Civil Security from Space programme (CSS) aims to foster the use of space-based solutions during civil security events and crisis response, which help save lives and livelihoods and enable civil security players to act swiftly to support humanitarian responses, law enforcement, safety, and emergency events, anywhere, at any time and for the benefit of everyone.
For more information on the Arctic Weather Satellite, please visit www.esa.int
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