Think ride-sharing is just about using car or truck for a few hours? Think bigger. Like globally sharing resources.
The European Space Agency has developed a lightweight, carbon fiber module that fits on its Vega spaceship. The module is a shared vehicle to transport satellites into space in a system that can be easily adjusted and adapted. Vega launched the prototype early on Sept. 3 from Kourou, French Guiana.
The Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) modular rideshare will allow companies to get items into orbit without having to wait to hitch a ride on a major space launch program.
"This means Vega can offer affordable and convenient launch opportunities for small satellites, without the constraints of traveling as secondary payloads with much larger satellites," ESA said in a news release.
The module, made using carbon fiber from Toray Advanced Composites, can house up to 50 satellites per launch.