Milestone in the History of Sustainability in Space

ADEO deorbit dragsail. Credit: HPS / Reflex Aerospace
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Milestone in the History of Sustainability in Space

Paris-Munich-Berlin, September 19th, 2022. Today satellite manufacturer Reflex Aerospace, Munich/Berlin, and space-tech company HPS, Munich, signed a letter of intent that is going to set the pace in striving for sustainability in space. Reflex Aerospace commits to use HPS as the sole partner to equip their satellites with the worldwide unique deorbit sail-system ADEO from subsystem specialist HPS. The goal is clear: make sure that the satellite mission is designed to avoid producing space debris, and that it can be assured, long before the satellite reaches its end of life,  that it will not become yet another tumbling piece of debris for many years to come. The common goal is to put the European Commission´s “Green Deal”, ESA’s “Zero Debris Initiative” and the “National Orbital Debris Implementation Plan” from the United States of America into practice. 

The dragsail ADEO is available in three different versions, covering all possible forms and sizes of satellites active on orbital altitudes up to 900 kilometres. Therefore, ADEO covers over 90 percent of all constellations in planning. Using ADEO underlines Reflex’s ambition to foster sustainability in space and responsive space capabilities and create additional value for their satellites and subsequently for their customers. First step and first integration of an ADEO dragsail will be the Reflex Demonstration Mission planned for mid 2024.

CEOs of both companies signed the agreement today: Walter Ballheimer for Reflex, and Dr. Ernst K. Pfeiffer on behalf of HPS. After the ceremony Walter Ballheimer said: “We know the satellite manufacturing business for a long time, and from a mere business perspective one can understand, that some of our competitors hesitate to invest in sustainability, if that affects rentability. Our view is, however, that this is short sighted and will inevitably lead to a situation where space endeavours become incredibly risky due to the amount of debris in the low earth orbit, or it will lead to legal initiatives stopping irresponsible behaviour in space. We don´t want to wait for either scenario to materialize, instead, we see it as a clear mandate for us and our customers to assume factual and moral leadership in this matter.” Ernst Pfeiffer added: “Every breakthrough is a highly emotional moment, and this one now is certainly one of the most important ones in the history of our company. We started developing large deployable sail subsystems, originally with partners for the purpose of solar sailing, back in the year 2000. It took over twenty years, uncountable hours of work done by the best engineers in their field, as well as sweat and tears when the project ran more than once into dangerous waters concerning its long term financing. We are glad and thankful that over the decades we received so much support from people and institutions who never stopped believing in our final success. DLR and ESA have to be mentioned here in their role as most important strategic investors. This step together with Reflex Aerospace justifies the worthiness of all that effort and shows that ADEO will make its way as the central tool in keeping space save and sustainable.”

About Reflex Aerospace

Reflex Aerospace, a NewSpace startup founded in 2021 and headquartered in Munich and Berlin, offers rapid, payload-centric, dual-use, secure-by-design small satellite solutions. They apply modern manufacturing advancements to a unique design process resulting in enhanced reliability, the highest-performing core avionics in class, and improved delivery times.

www.reflexaerospace.com

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Reflex Aerospace GmbH – Press contact
Lauro Gabriel De Souza Hining
lgdesouzahining@b2p-communications.com

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