Open Cosmos and RHEA Group have selected Virgin Orbit from that firm’s UK business to carry the satellite — DOVER Pathfinder — to LEO aboard the upcoming and historic flight from Spaceport Cornwall later this year. The mission will mark the first time in history that a satellite launch has been conducted from British soil, helping to fulfill the goals of the UK government to enable full, end-to-end, space capability.
The DOVER Pathfinder is funded, in part, by the UK Space Agency through the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Navigation Program (NAVISP), which was created to support innovation and competitiveness in European position, navigation and timing (PNT) landscape. The DOVER Pathfinder satellite, for which the payload was designed by the RHEA team in the UK and is built by UK-based Open Cosmos, will serve as a pathfinder for resilient, global, navigation satellite systems.
“We are delighted to have been selected by RHEA Group and Open Cosmos for their first, joint mission.The fact that the DOVER Pathfinder satellite was designed and built in the UK by Open Cosmos, was co-funded by the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency, and will now be launched by Virgin Orbit fro Spaceport Cornwall, is a great example of the power that comes with the infusion of space collaboration that is taking place across the globe,” said Virgin Orbit CEO, Dan Hart. “The work RHEA will do with DOVER Pathfinder will help to assure reliable navigation, which touches all of us and can be vital for everything from environmentally efficient shipping to national security.”