European Startup Inks Deal with ISRO's Commercial Arm for A Prototype Launch

Europe-based The Exploration Company, a manufacturer of space capsule to carry cargo to space, has inked a deal with the New Space India Limited (NSIL), ISRO's commercial arm, to launch its mission in January next year.

Founded in 2021, The Exploration Company is based in Munich, Germany and Bordeaux, France. The aerospace startup manufactures and operates the Nyx space capsule for space agencies and space stations as well as both space and non-space companies in other industries.

Interestingly, chosing ISRO for its mission is came after the startup suffered delay in its earlier scheduled launch. The Exploration Company is aiming to conduct an initial demonstration mission using a prototype called Bikini in January 2024. That mission was originally scheduled to fly with France-based Arianespace’s Ariane 6 in the fall of this year, but due to delays with that launch vehicle, the startup eventually decided to move to the ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

The media reports also mentioned that off-late ISRO's successful launch missions for private companies have earned it the trust among the foreign companies as they chose PSLV over Arianespace's Ariane 6 rocket. Arianespace is the world's first commercial space launch service provider.

Besides, the Exploration Company had also signed a preliminary cargo delivery agreement with American private space station aspirant Axiom Space.

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