9. January 2018

Launch of Soyuz-2.1a rocket with the Fregat upper stage, July 14th 2017 © Roscosmos

This year was full of new experiences, contacts and achievements for our company. Here is a brief recap of German Orbital Systems’ activities in 2017 with some highlights on our plans for 2018.

The most important proof of our capabilities is our flight-proven hardware. In 2017 German Orbital Systems participated in two space launches from two various launch sites: Baikonur in Kazakhstan and Vostochny – Amur Oblast of Russia (Far East).

During our first mission, July 14th our team was responsible for supplying the DCSM unit – hardware ensuring the separation of 15 CubeSats from Fregat upper stage. This system is the main electronic part («The Brain») of the satellite dispenser systems produced by ECM Space Technologies GmbH. Our device performed flawlessly and payloads were successfully deployed.

German Orbital Systems DCSM unit worked flawlessly during Kanopus-V-IK Launch >>

Our second mission did not go well though, as during the Russian State Space Corporation’s meteorological Meteor-M #2-1 mission failure on November 28th our satellite, D-Star ONE was lost. D-Star ONE was supposed to be the first LEO communication CubeSat as well as the first German commercial CubeSat. The satellite was designed and built in cooperation with iSky Technology s.r.o., a commercial partner from the Czech Republic. Among other payloads, D-Star One hosted four communication modules with D-Star capability, two of which were supposed to be fully dedicated to the amateur radio community.

The final tests of the D-Star One small satellite

The final tests of the D-Star One small satellite

The loss was not able to stop our activity – we are currently preparing our next missions for launch in 2018.  The new missions will presumably carry payloads from several customers, willing to test their components and systems in relevant environment and to obtain flight heritage for it. For sure, we will continue to work with the amateur radio community that was truly excited about D-Star ONE mission and supportive after failure. For sure, our next spacecraft will have several D-Star repeaters onboard.

D-Star One technical details for radio amateurs >>

German Orbital Systems on World Satellite Business Week. Paris, 2017

German Orbital Systems on World Satellite Business Week. Paris, 2017

German Orbital Systems were increasingly visible on NewSpace scene in 2017. In January, we presented our expertise in Abu Dhabi during the Global Space Congress. Our products exhibited at our stand got the attention of the space community – we were happy to meet representatives of space agencies, such as UAE Space Agency, DLR, NASA, and JAXA. Straight after the United Arab Emirates, we traveled across the ocean to Silicon Valley to participate in the SmallSat Symposium. During the conference, we spoke to people from Spire Global, Planet, Terra Bella, Astro Digital and many other space startups from all around the world to get insights about booming small satellite movement. We also presented our ideas during the Startup Night Berlin, February 21st at the ministry of transport and digital infrastructure as well as at the Disrupt Space, March 14-15. In September, Euroconsult also chose us for participation in World Satellite Business Week as one of the most promising space startups in Europe. During Space Tech Expo in Bremen this October we presented the DCSM project to a highly-interested auditorium.

German Orbital Systems at Space Tech Expo 2017 >>

In 2017 the leaders of industry acknowledged German Orbital Systems expertise. In May, we organized a joint workshop with Airbus Safran Launchers (now Ariane Group) on New Space approach to space system development at Sindringen & Forchtenberg consisting of a series of theoretical and practical sessions aimed at giving insight about small satellite missions.

Tests of D-Star-One

Tests of D-Star-One

All that allowed us to increase our media outreach significantly. In 2017 German Orbital Systems were listed by German editorial board of WIRED journal among “Five most interesting Space startups in Germany” as one of “particularly ambitious representatives” of NewSpace industry in Germany along with PT scientists, Kaskilo, Valispace and Mundialis. We were featured in SpaceNews, were interviewed by N-TV, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Co-Founder magazine and NewSpace People sharing our plans and visions.

No achievements would be possible without well-coordinated, dynamic and highly experienced team, working in Berlin, Moscow, Baikonur, Vostochny on multiple projects simultaneously. They did a lot in 2017 and we believe that it is a mere fraction of possibilities of our team.

Interview with Walter Ballheimer for Co-Founder Magazine >>

We would also like to thank our customers and partners, believing in us, relying on us. Together we pursue our mission of making the space closer and more affordable, lifting the barriers to access it.

In 2018 we will work hard on the reduction of time to orbit for our customer`s payloads while ensuring the German quality of our products and services!