Paris, 2023 October 4th
Dark expands its partnership with CNES around its high pressure engine
Dark has signed a second contract with CNES, strengthening its collaboration with the space agency on the development of its latest generation rocket engine. This agreement will allow CNES to use combustion chamber results test performed by Dark.
This co-funding, announced few months before the start of the engine's ignition testing, underscores the French space agency's commitment to supporting France’s industrial economy. The results of the testing will directly enrich CNES' knowledge base and will be accompanied by architectural data to allow full exploitation by the agency.
As part of the development of its emergency debris removal system, Interceptor, Dark is developing new types of atmospheric and orbital propulsion systems. These include a methane-and-liquid-oxygen fueled engine capable of achieving the same high operating pressures as engines developed using conventional fuels. Dark's proprietary combustion chamber -which soon will be fully designed, manufactured and soon tested in France- uses special alloys suitable for additive manufacturing.
This collaboration highlights the value of technologies developed by Dark and represents an important step in the cooperation between the two entities. The contract will come to fruition shortly after the engine test, scheduled for the end of 2023. Part of the contract includes the preparation of a second phase - aimed at industrializing a critical process in the production of reusable engines.
About CNES: As a public industrial and commercial establishment (EPIC), CNES proposes and implements French space policy to the authorities in 5 major strategic areas: Ariane, science, observation, telecommunications and defense.
About Dark: French space protection and security company founded in 2021 to develop an emergency removal system (EDR) for space objects to fight the debris proliferation in orbit. Dark's backers include major investment funds such as Eurazeo, Frst and Kima Ventures.
About Interceptor: Is a EDR system (Emergency Debris Removal) designed primarily for orbital emergencies and hazardous object removal. Its business model is based on platformization to address additional markets and offer low prices for debris removal, payload launch or hypersonic experiments.
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