Open Cosmos’ MANTIS satellite readies launch aboard SpaceX Transporter 9
Open Cosmos, a space mission and data provider, and the European Space Agency (ESA) confirm plans for the launch of the MANTIS satellite aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-9 mission.
The mission has been jointly arranged by SAB Launch Services and Exolaunch and MANTIS was successfully integrated with Exolaunch’s EXOpod Nova deployment system in Berlin.
Following this it was integrated with SpaceX's Falcon 9 ahead of lift-off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, US.
“MANTIS is an ambitious programme and we’re excited to work with ESA to get this satellite into orbit in 2023,” said Aleix Megias, VP of operations at Open Cosmos.
“Once operational, MANTIS will allow us to better monitor our use of natural resources, allowing governments and organisations to make more informed decisions to support sustainable resource management practices. By joining the OpenConstellation, the Earth Observation data derived from MANTIS will allow many other organisations to improve their impact too.”
MANTIS, which stands for Mission Agile Nanosatellite for Terrestrial Imagery Services, will be the first satellite launched as part of ESA InCubed, the co-funding programme run by ESA Φ-lab. The UK Space Agency has contributed £2.2 million of funding to this initiative.
The satellite will host a multispectral, high-resolution optical payload for Earth observation (EO) as well as a secondary payload, a high-performance and reconfigurable processing unit for AI.
"As the first InCubed co-funding of an end-to-end mission, MANTIS is a milestone for us and a salient example of the burgeoning commercial Earth observation sector in Europe, one of the priorities of ESA's Agenda 2025,“ said Michele Casrtorina, head of ESA Φ-lab invest office.
Open Cosmos will oversee the end-to-end space mission service which ncludes satellite design, integration of the payloads, build, launch, operations and distribution of the data through their DataCosmos platform.
“MANTIS is an excellent example of how Earth observation satellites can provide novel solutions for a range of sectors,” said Harshbir Sangha, missions and capabilities delivery director at the UK Space Agency.
“We’re delighted to have been able to support Open Cosmos and partners across the UK and Europe to deliver an innovative mission and drive growth in the sector”
Once operational, MANTIS will join the OpenConstellation, a global, shared Earth Observation satellite infrastructure built and managed by Open Cosmos .