ESA Contract success for Lunasa Space

ESA Contract success for Lunasa Space

Congratulations to Lunasa Space, who, on the 6 January 2024, signed a €611k contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).   

Lunasa Space are a UK-based space-tech startup, founded by Amin Chabi, focused on making space operations safe and sustainable, by building autonomous satellite navigation solutions. Their reusable and dual-stage vehicles are set to significantly reduce the time and costs for SmallSats to access Earth orbits and beyond.    

Lunasa Space joined us on the ESA BIC UK programme at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in May of 2022.  

The €611k contract agreement they have signed, outlines plans to build a high-precision relative GNSS solution for in-space services and distributed space systems, under ESA’s NAVISP Element 2 programme. The solution will enable critical in-orbit satellite services and docking missions, structure assembly and satellite formation flying.   

Amin Chabi, CEO of Lunasa, said “We are thrilled to be working with ESA, marking a significant progress in Lunasa’s innovative satellite Rendezvous Proximity Operations (RPO) Kit. Our mission is to lead the way in shaping the future of autonomous space navigation, and we are excited about the commercial possibilities this opens for Lunasa and the broader space industry.”  

The NAVISP Element 2 programme focuses on the development of innovative and competitive products in the satellite navigation and wider position, navigation, and timing domain. It’s objective, which is supported by several countries, including the UK, is to boost Member States Industrial competitiveness in the fast-evolving navigation sector.   

Whilst this groundbreaking technology serves several specific satellite navigations needs by itself, it is also a critical part of Lunasa’s AI-based vision navigation kit which is used by satellites to perform autonomous in-space Rendezvous Proximity Operations and Docking (RPOD) missions.  

Their suitability for this project is a testament to their ongoing expertise and commitment to navigation, space systems and satellite operations.  

Craig Brown, Investment Director at the UK Space Agency, said “The advanced technology developed by Lunasa Space has the potential to really help improve the way we manoeuvre satellites in orbit by more accurately calculating position. This type of capability is vital if we are to develop in-orbit services such as refuelling, upgrading or active debris mitigation…Lunasa’s signed contract with ESA is an excellent example of the type of high-risk, high-reward investment that the UK space sector needs to keep breaking barriers, and speaks to the UK’s heritage of championing cutting-edge technology.”  

And it’s this “cutting-edge technology,” that has propelled Lunasa Space to win several awards, since their formation in March of 2021. This includes their wins at Deep Tech Momentum and the Ignite Space Conference in 2023, where they pitched on stage to demonstrate their innovative, deep-tech startup company.   

Through their participation in the ESA BIC UK programme, Lunasa Space has access to a range of resources, including technical expertise, funding, and networking opportunities. This support will enable the company to further develop and scale its solutions, bringing them to market faster and more effectively.