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Gilmour Space’s satellite to ‘dragsail’ to Earth

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Auckland, New Zealand based Frond Space Systems and Gold Coast rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies have signed a contract to supply a dragsail system for Gilmour Space’s MMS-1 satellite mission.

Frond, which specialises in deployable space technology will provide a MICRO dragsail system, a lightweight and compact device that can be deployed at the end of a spacecraft’s life to increase its drag and accelerate its deorbiting.

Space debris has become a major issue for satellite companies and others operating in space, with the dragsail ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.

The Gilmour MMS-1 satellite mission, scheduled for launch in early 2025, will deploy a 100-kilogram class microsatellite to low Earth orbit.

The contract reflects Gilmour Space’s commitment to the principles of responsible and sustainable space utilisation, according to a statement.

The Head of Satellites at Gilmour Space Kody Cook said : “The new five-year deorbit requirement introduced by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a great step in the right direction for the responsible and sustainable use of the space environment.

“Products like the MICRO dragsail system developed by Frond Space will be critical for meeting these requirements.

“It’s also a core part of our strategy to support the growth of the trans-Tasman supply chain and start-up ecosystem as we continue to develop future platforms.”

The CEO & Co-founder of Frond Space Systems Ben Taylor said the mission was a great opportunity to showcase the company’s innovative deployable space technology and contribute to the responsible use of space.

Taylor said: “We are proud to be part of the growing space industry collaboration across Australia and New Zealand, and look forward to working with Gilmour Space and other partners in the region and beyond.”

Picture: Gilmour Space Technologies

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