Arianespace Announces a Free Satellite Launch Contest for Tech Startups

29th Apr 2021
Arianespace Announces a Free Satellite Launch Contest for Tech Startups

European launch provider Arianespace is organizing a free satellite launch contest for space technology startups. Aside from startups, labs and universities will also have a chance to apply. Everyone interested will have until 14th May to submit their applications, but the latter will have to follow some very specific criteria.

Free Satellite Launch Contest Application Criteria

Arianespace, along with Viva Technology 2021, will award a free spot on a rideshare mission for a CubeSat-sized satellite. The main selection criterion will be the satellite’s mission, which should aim to advance human knowledge or improve life on earth. Next, the satellite size and design should also be compatible with the rideshare mission and should meet environmental standards.

Free satellite launch contest participants can apply up until 14th May, and the winner will be announced on 16th June, during the VivaTech opening ceremony. Besides, Arianespace is willing to announce its new commercial proposals for upcoming satellite launches. The solutions will include Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) launch services on Vega, Vega C, and Ariane 6 carriers.

The SSMS project was first used on the Vega rocket in September 2020, with the support of the European Space Agency. The structure for SSMS was developed by Avio and manufactured by a Czech company SAB Aerospace. Later on, a similar tech will be designed for Ariane 6, with the support of MLS. Now that the ESA has supported Arianespace within the Horizon 2020 program, the company is ready to offer its own support to innovative startups. That is what the entire free satellite launch contest is all about.

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