Equatorial Space has signed a letter of intent to work with Scottish launch aggregator, Responsive Access, on finding customers for launches of the firm’s smallsat launch vehicle.
The company’s fully hybrid launch vehicle, Volans, is being designed to carry up to 200 kg. of payload into near-equatorial LEO – a rare capability for the many smallsat launch companies active in this burgeoning sector and heavily regulated by technology export restrictions by their domiciles.
Aiming for the first orbital launch by 2021, ESI has previously been crowned the winner of MBRSC Innovation Cup 2018 in Dubai, a Top 500 Deep Tech Startup by Hello Tomorrow 2018, as well as the Most Promising Startup at the NAMIC Innovation Day 2019.
Responsive Access is a participant in the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre and aims to simplify access to space through the use of innovative software and key partner relationships that provide a one-stop-shop for the launch of cubesats into orbit.
Simon Gwozdz, the CEO and Founder of Equatorial Space, said the company has reached a point along the development roadmap when the firm can confidently discuss launch contracts, as this technology matures and the team grows. Despite the delays in the inaugural prototype mission, the Low Altitude Demonstrator, due to the COVID-19 crisis and resulting travel restrictions, Equatorial Space is pushing forward with all work being completed remotely.
CEO of Responsive Access, Andrew Paliwoda, added that the company is delighted to have formalized initial discussions with this letter of intent and look forward to strengthening this partnership with Equatorial Space in the coming months by bringing them satellite payload opportunities to fit their timelines.