February 3, 2023
Space BD completes the deployment of OPTIMAL-1 into orbit
ArkEdge Space and 5 other companies supporting orbital demonstrations
Satellite integration to JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer: J-SSOD(left) Satellite deployment (right) images=JAXA/NASA
Tokyo—Space BD, a leading Japanese space startup, announces the deployment of the CubeSat OPTIMAL-1 into space from the Japanese experimental module Kibo on the International Space Station (ISS) at 6 pm (JST) on Friday, January 6, 2023. Space BD provided all support for the deployment of the OPTIMAL-1, which was developed by ArkEdge Space Inc., Pale Blue Inc., Seiren Co., Ltd., the University of Fukui, the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.
OPTIMAL-1 was carried to the ISS on November 27, 2022 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon resupply ship as part of NASA's 26th Commercial Resupply Service mission (CRS-26).
The deployment on January 6 was prepared by astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is currently aboard the ISS. OPTIMAL-1 has already successfully communicated with ground stations, and various demonstrations are planned for the future, including a nano-propulsion system, communication device, and on-orbit advanced information processing technology. “I was honored to work together with the satellite developers on this project” Tetsuro Mizuno, Senior Engineer at Space BD says, “to carry a satellite equipped with a propulsion system from the manned ISS has a more stringent NASA review process to ensure the safety of the astronauts. We came together to overcome each of the difficulties we faced to arrive at this successful deployment.”
OPTIMAL-1 is a multi-mission satellite that will improve and demonstrate further enhancements to the 3U general-purpose bus capabilities that ArkEdge Space demonstrated in orbit in 2018, as well as its main mission of technical demonstrations of (1) a nano water propulsion system, (2) edge computing, (3) a nano-hyperspectral camera, and (4) Store and Forward LoRa Low Power Communications, etc.
Future contribution is expected for forest management, agriculture, disaster prevention, logistics, and communications, etc. around the world.
■About Space BD Inc.
Space BD is a leading Japanese startup focusing on business development to drive the commercialization of space. Since its foundation in 2017, Space BD has provided extensive transportation methods to space and has offered a one-stop service for customers who wish to utilize the ISS and other opportunities in space by helping design a business plan and providing practical and technical support for their execution. With technology-based sales and business development capabilities as its cornerstone, and our staff with diverse career backgrounds providing comprehensive customer services, Space BD supports various private-public initiatives, business transformation programs, and educational projects. As of January 2023, Space BD’s performance record marked over 60 satellite projects and over 300 orders.
- Space BD Inc.
- Public Relations (Marin Hara, Haruna Iizuka)