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The Exploration Company Selects Benchmark Space Systems Propulsion System To Power Its Mission Possible Demonstrator Flight In 2024

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
October 18, 2022

MUNICH, Germany (October 13, 2022) — In-space mobility provider Benchmark Space Systems has been selected by The Exploration Company, a European start-up developing in-orbit exploration vehicles, to develop the propulsion system for its second demonstrator flight (‘Mission Possible’) which is set to launch in 2024. Under a collaborative agreement, Benchmark and The Exploration Company will work together to develop an innovative propulsion system that will utilize non-toxic high-test peroxide propellant, in line with The Exploration Company’s long-term commitment towards reusability and sustainability. The system will be based on Benchmark’s flight-proven Halcyon Avant propulsion system, featuring Benchmark’s 22N “Ocelot” bi-propellant (HTP + IPA) thrusters.

“We are thrilled to bring our proven non-toxic propulsion solutions to power The Exploration Company’s upcoming in-orbit vehicle demonstrator mission,” said Ryan McDevitt, Chief Executive Officer at Benchmark Space Systems. Benchmark will be responsible for the design, manufacturing, verification and delivery of the propulsion equipment and assemblies, such as the thruster assembly and the propellant tanks. The Exploration Company will be responsible for the design, verification and qualification of the overall propulsion system, including the coordination of the interface between the demonstration capsule ‘Nyx’ and the propulsion system.

The Exploration Company scheduled its launch of the demonstration Mission Possible in 2024 with the main objective to perform a safe re-entry of the capsule that will host payloads from first customers. Moreover, the target is to perform a safe splash-down in the ocean, including recovery. As a final objective, The Exploration Company looks forward to the demonstration of its propulsion capabilities during orbital flight, as well as during re-entry, using the aforementioned propulsion system. “Thanks to the collaboration with Benchmark Space Systems, we will be able to test our technology in a real environment that allows us to accelerate and de-risk our technology roadmap,” said Jon Reijneveld, Chief Engineer at The Exploration Company. “The propulsion system that will be developed for the demonstration mission will lower the barriers for the planned maiden flight of our orbital vehicle Nyx Earth.”

About The Exploration Company

The mission of the French-German company is to democratize space exploration for space and non-space industries. To realize this mission, The Exploration Company develops, manufactures, and operates Nyx, a modular and reusable orbital vehicle which can be refuelled in orbit. Nyx serves the low Earth orbit (LEO) and lunar destinations and starts with carrying cargo, with the growth potential to fly humans afterwards. The Exploration Company was founded in 2021 by experienced engineers and has raised one of the biggest Seed Series in Europe backed by tier-one investors (Promus Ventures, Cherry, Vsquared). For more information, visit

About Benchmark Space Systems

Benchmark Space Systems is a full life cycle in-space mobility provider, delivering products and partnerships from mission planning through decommission. Founded in 2017 to develop green propulsion technologies and bring flexible integrated solutions to the market, the team’s rapid growth and focus on the accessibility and sustainability of a democratized space domain has resulted in a product line up of turn-key propulsion systems for 3U CubeSat through ESPA and OTV class spacecraft in LEO, GEO, and beyond. Benchmark’s patented and proprietary innovations focus on eliminating customer pain-points and increasing asset value for unparalleled ROI. To explore how Benchmark can help improve your mission, from rapid orbit insertion to advanced RPO (Rendezvous and Proximity Operations). For more information, visit

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