Programme to Demonstrate Small Satellite Capabilities in the ISS Environment
TORINO, ITALY (May 31, 2016) – The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Tyvak International SRL – an originator of nanosatellite technology – to demonstrate the feasibility of having nanosatellites provide autonomous inspection and support services on the International Space Station (ISS) while in orbit.
Tyvak International will serve as the prime contractor for the “Multi-Purpose CubeSat at International Space Station (ISS)” study, conducted under the ESA General Studies Programme (GSP), meant to serve as a proving ground for the Agency’s future space-based activities.
Tyvak International was selected for this programme because of their unmatched knowledge of the nanosatellite industry and prior experience working on similar demonstrations. The ESA study is expected to be complete by early fall 2016.
“Working with ESA on such a groundbreaking effort is an honor. We look forward to developing our mutual experience in advanced nanosatellite missions and we hope one day to serve as ESA’s ‘go-to’ small satellite provider for inspection and proximity rendezvous missions,” said Tyvak International CEO Dr. Marco Villa.
Nanosatellites have the capability of providing multi-purpose platforms that can be deployed, retrieved, and refurbished by astronauts or robotically in the ISS environment.
As part of this contract, Tyvak Nanosatellites will:
- Develop a conceptual design for the ISS base platform
- Identify models for the platform’s launch to and deployment from the ISS
- Identify logistics needed to support maintenance and refueling of small satellites from the ISS
- Identify safety needs and possible constraints of having small satellite units operating autonomously in the ISS environment
- Plan the optimal path forward to ensure full flight readiness in a short timeframe.
Subcontractors on this study include Politecnico di Torino University, and OHB System AG, Human Spaceflight Department.
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