The lunar constellation satellite will travel to the moon in 2023, and will help enable a range of communications and navigation services
In a breakthrough achievement that will enable communications and navigation services for wider applications, Plus Ultra Space Outpost (Plus Ultra) and Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA) have jointly signed an agreement for launching a demonstrator mission to the Moon. RFA aims to launch Plus Ultra’s demonstrator mission towards the end of 2023 on the RFA ONE launch system. Plus Ultra’s first satellite will launch into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), from where it will reach the lunar orbit and initialise the cis-lunar constellation ‘Harmony’. The satellite will also be the first private orbiter with electric propulsion going to and orbiting the Moon.
This will not only change the paradigm of lunar operations, but also turn communications and navigation from a selective resource into an on-demand, dependable service that enables new capabilities on the Moon, like continuous remote operations, pinpoint landings, precise surface navigation, and polar and far side access.
The satellite will reach its operational orbit in 2024, providing 24×7 high-speed broadband communications of up to 100 Mbps per user between the Moon, including cis-lunar orbit, and anywhere on Earth.
“It is very encouraging to see new business models emerge for commercial services in the cis-lunar orbit. We are particularly proud that Plus Ultra has chosen our launch system RFA ONE confirming our traction in the launch service market,” said Jörn Spurmann, chief commercial officer of RFA.
“We are aiming to become the backbone of the cis-lunar industry. With more than 140 lunar missions planned for this decade, more than all Moon missions in history combined, the upcoming lunar market is prime for disruption,” said Carlos Manuel Entrena Utrilla, founder and chief executive officer of Plus Ultra.
“RFA’s launch vehicle fits our needs perfectly in performance and price, and will allow us to get an early start in the race for the lunar economy,” said Sebastian Ströhl, founder and chief commercial officer of Plus Ultra.