Tyvak International, a Terran Orbital Company, Completes Critical Design Review of Deep Space Bound Milani Satellite
The nanosatellite will support the European Space Agency’s Hera mission
TURIN, Italy–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$LLAP #TerranOrbital–Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the aerospace and defense industries, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tyvak International SRL, has, together with its partners, conducted a comprehensive critical review of the Milani Spacecraft design. An essential part of the Hera planetary defense mission, Milani will be the first deep-space nanosatellite for the European Space Agency (ESA). Milani will also be the first nanosatellite to orbit an asteroid. Tyvak International is responsible for the design, construction and mission operations of Milani. In this exploration, Tyvak International is joined by an excellent consortium of European industries and research centers from Finland, Czech Republic and Italy.
The world’s first asteroid deflection test, Hera, will perform a detailed post-impact survey of the target asteroid, Dimorphos – the orbiting Moonlet in a binary asteroid system known as Didymos. NASA’s DART mission will first impact the moon. After the DART impact, Hera will transform the experiment into a well-understood and repeatable planetary defense technique, using new technologies ranging from autonomous navigation around an asteroid to low-gravity proximity operations. Hera will be humanity’s first probe to encounter a binary asteroid system and Europe’s flagship planetary defender.
Milani, named after Andrea Milani, the asteroid hazard analysis pioneer who invented the original DART-Hera dual spacecraft concept, is a companion nanosatellite to HERA, carried by the mothership throughout of the journey to the asteroid, and finally released into its vicinity. Milani’s main instrument will be the ASPECT hyperspectral imager (by VTT, Finland), combining visible and near-infrared wavelengths to monitor the surface to a maximum spatial resolution of one meter. ASPECT will sift through reflected sunlight from Dimorphos as well as its larger companion Didymos, looking for distinctive mineral uptakes from individual asteroid blocks. With ASPECT, Milani’s secondary payload is called VISTA (Volatile In-Situ Thermogravimeter Analyzer). The instrument (by INAF, Italy) can detect the presence of dust particles smaller than 5-10 micrometers in water and will monitor molecular contamination surrounding the satellite. Finally, laser reflectors (by INFN, Italy) will allow unprecedented measurements of the asteroid’s gravity field coupled with Hera’s laser rangefinder.
“Terran Orbital is honored to be selected again for a contract that will generate unprecedented scientific returns for the global community while propelling Europe’s ambitions for planetary defense capabilities,” said Marc Bell, co- Founder, President and CEO of Terran Orbital. “Tyvak International’s design and construction of the Milani spacecraft will provide extremely valuable information for future asteroid deflection missions. We are delighted that ESA has entrusted us with this privilege, and we look forward to continuing to design, build, deliver and operate state-of-the-art satellite solutions that make our planet a safer place to live.
“We are absolutely delighted with the maturity reached by the Milani spacecraft in such a short time,” said Ian Carnelli, Hera project manager at ESA. “Tyvak International’s ability to not only achieve this important milestone, but to do so while developing new cutting-edge technologies with its partners, is unparalleled. We look forward to continuing this adventure and giving Milani a nice ride to Didymos.
About Tyvak International
Tyvak International, a Terran Orbital Corporation, is a leading European supplier of nano and microsatellites, based in Turin, Italy. A leader in miniaturization and specialized in execution and delivery, Tyvak International is the European Space Agency’s Contract Prime for the Milani mission, coordinating a team of 12 entities, universities, research centers and companies in Italy and around all of Europe. Learn more at www.tyvak.eu.
About Terran Orbital
Terran Orbital is a leading manufacturer of small satellites primarily for the aerospace and defense industries. Terran Orbital provides end-to-end satellite solutions by combining design, production, launch planning, mission operations and in-orbit support to meet the needs of the most demanding military, civil and commercial customers. Learn more at www.terranorbital.com.
Disclaimer: Please note that the opinion expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.