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March 4, 2024

Italian innovative startup FAST Aerospace Srl officially established: it focuses on drone production and satellite launch systems

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The founding members of FAST Aerospace Srl. From left to right: Alberto Chiozzi, Lorenzo Beggio, Luca Colombo, Mattia Gabriele Bertolini, Alessandro Castelvetri. Photo credit: CUBO Photo Milano

FAST Aerospace Srl, a new and promising player in the aerospace sector, officially announced today its incorporation as a company. Founded with the aim of revolutionizing and promoting innovation in the satellite launch sector, FAST Aerospace Srl offers facilitated and flexible access to space for small satellites, with unprecedented advantages for the customer.

 

Currently, the alternatives available to an independent builder for launching a commercial smallsat in low Earth orbit (LEO) strongly depend on the room available aboard non-dedicated traditional launchers. Whether opting for piggyback solutions or rideshare, the smallsat builder lacks full decision-making power over the "where," "when," and "how" of its launch, as these parameters are often shared among many customers. Along with this forced compromise, the builder faces a bottleneck, afflicting the space launch sector, in which American private companies monopolize access to space for small satellites.

 

In particular, this class of satellites, with a mass of up to 250 kg, has been rapidly expanding in recent years: it is predicted that the smallsat manufacturing market will grow by 13.6% by 2033, thanks to the development of so-called "space infrastructures," constellations of satellites that offer downstream services usable from Earth, in a widespread and reliable manner.

 

FAST Aerospace Srl enters the launcher market by offering a new bridge to space, with unique and highly innovative features, crushing the bottleneck limiting the space sector. The focus of FAST Aerospace Srl's work is the design, construction, and subsequent operation of a new proprietary launcher: HyperDart. This launcher is a vehicle composed of two main parts: a remotely controlled drone with a maximum atmospheric speed of Mach 5 (5 times the speed of sound), which carries on its back a rocket powered by liquid methane and oxygen, with the task of covering the "last mile" between the high atmosphere in which the drone flies and the target orbit of the payload.

 

This launch system is unprecedented and therefore extremely innovative. It would allow non-equatorial countries, including Italy, to have independent and dedicated access to space, democratizing and liberalizing satellite deployment, which is crucial now more than ever for monitoring and predicting climate change, providing borderless telecommunication services, and conducting important scientific experiments in a unique environment.

 

"The contemporary Italian and European aerospace scenarios have been rapidly evolving in recent years. We are witnessing a real space race among private companies, with the aim of defining the future standard of access to space for all the member states of the Union," commented Dr. Lorenzo Beggio, Chief Executive Officer of FAST Aerospace Srl. "We are excited to enter this dynamic sector and to contribute with our ideas and unique vision to the future of the Italian aerospace sector. We are determined to make a difference and to lead the change toward a brighter, independent, and sustainable space future".

 

"To develop HyperDart, which is the size of a business jet, FAST Aerospace Srl has planned a series of intermediate experimental steps to validate the key technologies required," commented the company's Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Mattia Gabriele Bertolini. "We are already working on intermediate-sized demonstrators, highly innovative and with unique characteristics, which can be applied to a wide range of sectors beyond the space industry, including the development of new and more powerful propulsion systems for ultrahigh-speed civil aviation, search and rescue, aerial monitoring of crops and large infrastructures, as well as ultra-rapid delivery of high-value goods."

 

FAST Aerospace Srl has already received numerous manifestations of interest from major aerospace companies, government agencies, and Italian and European institutions, further proving the validity of the HyperDart development program. With the official launch of its operations, FAST Aerospace Srl is preparing to become a driving force in research and innovation in hypersonic flight and access to space, opening up new possibilities for the exploration and exploitation of LEO.

© 2024 FAST Aerospace Srl

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