The nanosatellite designed by Tyvak International, Terran Orbital’s international arm, will support the European Space Agency’s Hera Mission
15/12/2023 — TURIN, Italy — (BUSINESS WIRE)
Tyvak International, European leader in small satellite solutions, today announced together with its project partners the successful achievement of Test Readiness Review of the Milani spacecraft. A critical component of the Hera planetary defense mission, Milani will be the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first deep-space nanosatellite. Milani will also be the first nanosatellite ever to orbit an asteroid. Tyvak International is responsible for Milani’s design, build, and mission operations. In this exploration, Tyvak International is joined by an excellent consortium of European industries and research centers from Finland, Czech Republic, and Italy.
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Milani is a CubeSat developed by Tyvak International SRL, devoted to the visual inspection and dust detection of Didymos asteroid following DART impact. More info under https://tyvak.eu/missions/milani/ (Photo: Business Wire)
As part of the world’s first test of asteroid deflection, following the successful impact of NASA’s DART spacecraft on asteroid Dimorphos, Hera will perform a detailed post-impact survey turning the experiment into a well-understood and repeatable planetary defense technique. To achieve its objectives Hera will be utilizing new technologies from autonomous navigation around an asteroid to low-gravity proximity operations. Hera will be humankind’s first probe to rendezvous with a binary asteroid system and Europe’s flagship Planetary Defender.
Milani, named after Professor Andrea Milani, the pioneer of asteroid risk analysis who came up with the original double-spacecraft Don Quijote mission concept from which the DART-Hera missions were derived, is a companion nanosatellite of Hera, carried by the mothercraft along the journey to Didymos, and ultimately released in its proximity. Milani’s instruments are the ASPECT hyperspectral imager (by VTT, Finland), the VISTA (Volatile In-Situ Thermogravimetre Analyser) dust detector, and the Navigation Camera developed by Tyvak International with the collaboration of Politecnico di Milano for Image Processing algorithms. Finally, laser reflectors (by INFN, Italy) will enable unprecedented gravity field measurements of the asteroid coupled with Hera’s laser range finder.
Tyvak International is part of the Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP) (“Terran Orbital” or the “Company”), a global leader in satellite-based solutions primarily serving the aerospace and defense industries. “Terran Orbital is proud of Tyvak International’s successful achievement of the Test Readiness Review,” said Terran Orbital Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer Marc Bell. “We are honored by the trust placed in Tyvak International by ESA, and we look forward to continuing to design, build, deliver, and operate cutting-edge satellite solutions for missions, like Hera Mission.”
“We’ve always been proud to be part of such a challenging mission and the Test Readiness Review is a crucial milestone for the program,” said Tyvak International’s VP of Programs and Milani Program Manager Margherita Cardi. “In the last months we assembled the satellite and saw it taking shape day after day; It was a very exciting and emotional phase for me and the whole team.”
“Admiring the Milani spacecraft fully integrated brings lots of emotions that pay off the tens of thousands of hours of cutting edge engineering efforts,” said ESA Hera Project Manager Ian Carnelli. “Tyvak International has proved unprecedented commitment to bring this project from blueprints to reality, we can’t wait for the environmental test campaign to be completed and start testing with the Hera spacecraft. One step closer to Didymos.”
The next main step for Milani Satellite is the execution of the Environmental Test Campaign at Laboratorio di Qualifica Spaziale of CIRA (Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, Capua, Italy), after which it will return to Tyvak for the last tests and verification. Milani will be delivered to ESA in early 2024, to support the Hera electromagnetic compatibility test campaign and extensive System Validation Tests (SVTs), involving the mission ground segment as well.
About Tyvak International
Tyvak International, a Terran Orbital Corporation, is a leading European nano and microsatellite provider, based in Torino, Italy. A front runner in miniaturization and specialized in execution and delivery, Tyvak International is the Prime contractor of European Space Agency for the Milani mission, coordinating a team of 12 entities, universities, research centers, and enterprises in Italy and across all Europe. Learn more at www.tyvak.eu.
About Terran Orbital
Terran Orbital is a leading manufacturer of satellite products primarily serving the aerospace and defense industries. Terran Orbital provides end-to-end satellite solutions by combining satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations, and on-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 view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.