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Zenno Astronautics and D-Orbit execute MOU for new space applications for superconducting electromagnets

New Zealand headquartered space-flight systems company Zenno Astronautics (Zenno), a developer of world-first superconducting electromagnets for space applications, and D-Orbit, a company leader in the space logistics industry, have formed a special commercial partnership to collaborate on the development of new space products and services.

The initial project will see Zenno and D-Orbit combine their respective technologies and fields of expertise to develop two new uses for superconducting electromagnets in space applications. The partners will create practical solutions for the first fuel-free desaturation of reaction wheels in high-altitude orbits, and radiation shielding of hardware using superconducting electromagnets.

Zenno co-founder and CEO Max Arshavsky says, Zenno and D-Orbit are committed to shaping the future of space technology with new superconducting solutions that will empower in-space operations. We are creating a platform to enable superconducting magnets for various reliable, scalable, and fully electric space applications - from in-orbit satellite manoeuvrability to radiation shielding - for close proximity operations and farther afield. Working with D-Orbit, we can significantly accelerate the availability of new fuel-free space technologies for the space industry, opening new possibilities for satellite and spacecraft design and mission length.

D-Orbit founder and CEO Luca Rossettini says, At the heart of the space industry lies a relentless pursuit of innovation, and we are proud to join hands with Zenno in the in-orbit validation of their groundbreaking technology aboard our ION Satellite Carrier. This milestone marks a significant stride in the transformation of satellite operations, and this collaboration underscores our dedication to shaping the future of space technology, and further accelerating the progress towards more affordable, high-performance spacecraft. We foresee several applications of their superconducting electromagnets, especially the radiation shielding technology.

In August, Zenno Astronautics completed the integration of its world-first superconducting magnetic device, Z01™, inside D-Orbit's ION Satellite Carrier in preparation for its first in-orbit validation mission. Z01 is designed to de-tumble, stabilize, and control the attitude of a spacecraft and is a fraction of the size and weight of traditional technology. The orbital transfer vehicle with Z01 integrated is slated for launch via SpaceX's Falcon 9 in Q4 2023.