Lúnasa signs a contract with the UK Space Agency to further develop its reusable satellite servicing vehicle.

Lúnasa, a Harwell-based in-space logistics and infrastructure startup, has announced today the signing of a contract with the UK Space Agency, through the Launch UK Technology Development grant fund. During this contract, Lúnasa, in partnership with Satellite Applications Catapult, receives £216,000 to build and test and advance the technology readiness level of its AI-based satellite Rendezvous Proximity Operations and Docking (RPOD) technology, using Catapult’s IOSM robotic test facility at Westcott.

Lúnasa’s first-of-its-kind reusable and dual-stage spacecraft will fit the type of launch vehicles planned for use from the UK spaceports, offering satellite operators opportunities to reach otherwise unattainable or fuel-exhaustive orbits.

Our reusable vehicle (VIA) has excited many commercial SmallSat constellation operators and Micro/Small launchers, to reach new heights and orbits. While we are on track to serve our first customers by early 2024, this UK Space Agency contract will further accelerate our development.” said Amin Chabi, Founder and CEO of Lúnasa.

Sam Adlen, Chief Strategy Officer of the Satellite Applications Catapult added: “We are delighted to be supporting Lúnasa in their next exciting stage of development through our robotics facility at Westcott. Lúnasa is growing rapidly and they are precisely the sort of innovative organisation our unique facilities at Westcott and around the country are designed for. With this new grant from the UKSA and ongoing collaboration with Catapult, we look forward to seeing rapid progress from Lúnasa in the coming months and years.”

Visit the UK Space Agency announcement to read more about the funding.

About Lúnasa Space:
Lúnasa is a space-tech startup based in the UK with the vision of accelerating the world’s transition to an affordable, sustainable, and reliable, in-space economy. Lúnasa is developing an innovative and independently reusable in-orbit servicing vehicle, that offers satellite ridesharing and life extension services in LEO and beyond.

About Satellite Applications Catapult:
The Satellite Applications Catapult is at the heart of the satellite services revolution, driving the take-up of space technology and applications to shape, and sustain, the world of tomorrow. Satellite Applications Catapult is one of nine Catapults, uniquely established to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and to help drive future economic growth.