Winning Ideas for New European Space Transport Services

Spain’s PLD Space, Miura 5 microlauncher (formerly Arion 2) aims to provide dedicated launches for an emerging small satellites market in 2021.
 (Credit: PLD Space)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Imagine moving satellites to higher orbits, collecting space debris, and dedicated launches for small satellites. These are the winning entries of ESA’s call for ideas on new commercial space transportation services.

This campaign aimed to foster open innovation and offer encouragement to those with new ideas within the privately-funded space sector.

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Space Tug Company Wins Space Florida Innovation Prize

A Florida company working on developing a reusable space tug was one of two winners of the 2017 Florida VentureTech Showcase and the Space Florida Accelerating Innovation prize on Nov. 16.

Weintraus, Inc., of Daytona Beach, was awarded $25,000 in the competition, which attracted 17 Florida-based companies drawn from a pool of more than 70 applicants, Space Florida said in a press release. The 17 finalists made presentations to a group of investors and entrepreneurs in Boca Raton.

Weintraus’ Hercules II space tug will be “capable of capturing, servicing, refueling, and maneuvering multiple spacecraft in orbit,” the company says on its website. “Weintraus’ ability to resupply Hercules multiple times annually with cargo and fuel, while also having the ability to upgrade Hercules’technology via resupply missions, leads to a competitive advantage over competition. Hercules’ unique design also allows Weintraus to upgrade Hercules to become adaptable to multiple markets through simple resupply missions.”

Tellus, Inc., of Deerfield Beach, won the other $25,000 prize in the competition. The company “provides comprehensive solutions to extend healthcare beyond the hospital walls.”

Spaceflight Unveils SHERPA In-Space Tug

SHERPA space tug. (Credit: Spaceflight, Inc.)

Seattle, WA  – May 7, 2012 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc. (Spaceflight) unveiled today its SHERPA in-space tug, which is dedicated to hosting and deploying small and secondary payloads.

“SHERPA is the next step in providing space access for small and secondary payloads,” said Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Spaceflight Inc.  “SHERPA builds on our Spaceflight Secondary Payload System (SSPS) by incorporating a propulsion and power generation system to allow us to host payloads, as well as place them in an orbit other than the primary payload’s orbit.”
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