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Orbex and Arianespace Look to Collaborate in Launch Sector

By Mark Holmes | June 13, 2023

A rendering of an Orbex Prime launch from Sutherland Spaceport. Photo: Orbex

Orbex and Arianespace have formed a new partnership as the two launch providers look at how possible future co-operation between the two companies could help their respective customer requirements. The two companies signed an MoU announced June 13 to look at how collaboration could work between the two European launch providers could work in the future.

The agreement aims to increase the joint capabilities and flexibility of both partners’ services. In particular, it is expected that future collaboration would be particularly beneficial for customers planning small satellite constellations, providing a flexible solution for Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) payloads. Light and heavy-lift launch vehicles could jointly support customers in deploying their initial constellations into the required orbital planes, provide precise injections of a smaller number of satellites through dedicated missions, as well as provide replenishment and replacement launches.

Orbex has signed commercial launch contracts with seven customers. At the end of 2022, Orbex concluded its Series C funding round, netting the company an additional 40.4 million pounds ($50.68 million). Despite a challenging landscape for raising capital, Orbex attracted new investors and brought along many of its existing investors into the new round of funding.

“This collaboration holds a lot of promise for the European launch market and we’re excited to see where we can take this. We are clearly very pleased that Arianespace has chosen to work with Orbex. We already have a strong position in the emerging European microlauncher market and this cooperation could take us even further commercially,” Martin Coates, Orbex CEO, said in a statement.