Celestia Aerospace Closes 100 Million Euro Seed Round from Invema Ltd.

Sagittarius Launch System (Credit: Celestia Aerospace)

Pioneering solution for the development, launch, and operation of nanosatellites

BARCELONA, 15 March 2022 (Celestia Aerospace PR) — Invema Group LTD, with headquarters in London and international offices in Arizona (USA), Miami (USA), Toronto (Canada), Bogotá (Colombia), Casablanca (Morocco), Tunis (Tunisia), Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates), invests 100 million euros [USD $111 million] in the orbital solutions company Celestia Aerospace located in Barcelona.

With this investment round, Celestia Aerospace launches a nanosatellite production center (low-mass satellites – from 1 to 10 kg – and small dimensions – a cube measuring 10 centimeters per side), for the creation of Earth Observation and Secure Communications constellations, among other applications. The production plant applies lean-manufacturing concepts typical of the automotive industry and will have a final production capacity of up to 100 units per year. The production center is complemented by the launcher development center and the operations center for Sagittarius, a pioneering launch system dedicated to delivering nanosatellites to orbit: both those developed by the company itself and also by third parties. The facilities will be located in Spain.

Celestia Aerospace is thus committed to a 360º turnkey service, which covers all phases of the life cycle of nanosatellites, from their design and manufacture, to their launch and operation, thus offering a unique comprehensive service in the aerospace industry.

Sagittarius Airborne Launch System

The SALS (Sagittarius Airborne Launch System) is unique to date and is at the service of both the nanosatellites developed by the company itself and those developed by third parties that need a fast and flexible launch solution.

Sagittarius is an airborne platform with the capacity to reach orbits of up to 600 km in altitude, consisting of two components: The Archer, a MiG-29UB type supersonic jet; and The Space Arrow, a solid fuel rocket capable of carrying up to 16 kg of payload. In a single flight, the Archer is capable of launching two Space Arrows, thus achieving a total orbit transport capacity of 32 kg in a single operation.

The advantages of this new launch system are diverse: the just-in-time service, with a maximum waiting time between launches of one week, unlike traditional systems in which a nanosatellite waits an average of one to two years to be released; a total priority in the mission, unlike current systems in which the nanosatellite travels as secondary cargo, it is subject to the schedule and mission priorities of the main satellite with which it is launched; and flexibility in the calendar, since the launch can be delayed or advanced at the request of the client, thus being able to accommodate variations in the nanosatellite development plan.

A Firm Commitment to Young Talent

Celestia Aerospace will hire a team of 80 scientists and engineers, technicians and pilots, and will expand its activity in a scalable manner, with a five-year expansion plan in which the incorporation of recent graduates and young people from vocational training is prioritized. They will be working alongside professionals with extensive experience in the sector in order to form multicultural, multi-age and multidisciplinary teams.

The company will establish an associated foundation, the Celestia Aerospace Foundation, whose goal is to promote education and science in society and among young people in particular. As part of its activities, the Foundation will grant scholarships and prizes aimed at promoting the approach of young people to science and promoting their training.

Celestia Aerospace’s vision is global: 360 degrees covering not only matters related to industrial and scientific-technological development, but also the return to society through involvement with the training and stimulation of young people, so that they dream big and encourage the vision that they were born to have no limits.

A Solid Team

The company is led by Gloria García-Cuadrado (President & CEO), Daniel Ventura González (CTO & COO), and Francesc Ventura (CFO), and relies on the talent and experience of experts from the aerospace industry who have helped shape the sector over the past 40 years: Robert Lainé, who has held, among many other positions, Director of the Ariane Launcher Program of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Director of Operations (CTO) of the European EADS Space Consortium (currently Airbus Defence and Space); Adriano Camps, Professor and Director of the Nanosatellite Laboratory at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC); and Ángel Mateo, Professor of Air and Space Vehicles at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM).

Celestia Aerospace will begin its test flight campaign during the last quarter of 2022.