Mérignac, 2023 September 20th
The space company Dark will connect Bordeaux Airport directly to space.
Bordeaux Airport and the space company Dark have signed a partnership agreement to prepare the establishment of the company’s operations, founded in 2021 and currently based in Paris. Both players already have strong support from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
Dark is a space protection and security company developing Interceptor: a system that provides access to any point in low Earth orbit in less than 24 hours to remove dangerous objects and prevent the spread of space debris. The company has made a name for itself since its debut, attracting major investment funds such as Eurazeo, Frst and Kima Ventures (Xavier Niel). Since then, Dark has signed numerous contracts, most notably with Arianespace and CNES.
In the first half of 2023, the company conducted technological qualification tests (systems, computers, propulsion, etc.) to prepare for a demonstration mission in orbit. At the end of the year, Dark will fire a high-pressure cryogenic engine that will be entirely designed, manufactured, and tested in France.
Dark’s Site B project in Bordeaux, which includes more than 500 jobs in research an development, production, maintenance, and space operations, aims to locate most of the company's activities at Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport. The agreement will bring together institutions and local authorities to establish a joint schedule. Dark plans to hire its first employees in Bordeaux by summer 2024, in temporary facilities.
This logic is reflected in Bordeaux Airport's new strategy, which aims to play an impactful role as an accelerator and integrator for innovative companies in the region. As a major player in the aerospace value chain, the airport is very interested in attracting NewSpace companies, a fast-growing sector in the region that will create many jobs.
This agreement represents an important step in the development of the partners involved, with the aim of protecting world’s space infrastructures.
About Dark: Dark is a space protection and security company founded in 2021 that is developing an Emergency Debris Removal (EDR) platform. Interceptor is an EDR system developed by Dark with the unique feature that it can be used as a platform for existing markets such as payload delivery or hypersonic experiments.
About l’Aéroport de Bordeaux: At the heart of the airport organization, the Airport of Bordeaux-Merignac is responsible for the operation, maintenance, management and development of the hub under a concession granted by the French government, in close collaboration with all public and private operators. It also defines and implements a strategy to increase the value of the airport with and for its region and its economic, social and environmental challenges.