IAI to build Space Drones for Maintenance Missions

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Effective Space  agreed on a technology and financial cooperation to bring new kind of maintenance satellites to space, in order to extend the service period of communication satellites by 15 years and more. The companies announced that they have signed a term sheet for cooperation, under which Effective Space will appoint IAI as the primary contractor of its Space Drone spacecraft, while IAI will work to complete the necessary approvals for equity investment in Effective Space. The term sheet follows more than a year of cooperation, during which both companies have been jointly working on the Space Drone spacecraft design.

Effective Space is developing a unique, small spacecraft called Space Drone to extend the life of satellites in orbit. It employs a unique and patented technology for rendezvous and docking to satellites in space. After docking with existing satellites in Geosynchronous Earth Orbit that are reaching the end of their normal life expectancy, Space Drone will provide the engines needed for attitude-control, relocation, de-orbiting, orbit and inclination correction, and thus to provide up to 15 years of overall life-extension service.

Effective Space’s first contract, signed in 2017 with an international satellite operator, will see two Space Drone spacecraft launched in 2020 to extend the life of two existing satellites, and is expected to generate revenues of more than US$100 million. “IAI is globally recognised as a leader in the development and construction of commercial satellite technologies, and in particular, those with high performance and a small form factor,” said Arie Halsband, Founder and CEO of Effective Space. “IAI’s intention to directly invest in Effective Space is a strong endorsement of our program and an indication of the potential return for investors from this new era of logistics in space and in-space robotics.”

Effective Space was founded in 2013 and has raised US$15 million from investment funds in previous rounds of financing.