The French developer of nanosatellites launch services, Venture Orbital Systems (Venture) will use Fives Cryomec (Fives) LABS technology to test the Navier Mk2 engine that is set to power its Zephyr orbital launcher.

Announced earlier this month, the agreement will see cryogenics specialist Fives supplying the technology to support the Zephyr micro launcher – a launcher that is designed to put small satellites into orbit. 

Used for a range of applications including climate change data collection and to improve telecommunication and navigation systems, these satellites, known as CubeSats or nanosats, are quicker and cheaper to build than conventional satellites. 

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The Zephyr launcher

Bigger and heavier than Venture’s ‘very light’ cryogenic pumps, Fives multi-stage (12 stages) Cryomec cryogenic pump will be used to test Venture’s Navier Mk2 engine on the ground.

“Fives has designed over 8,500 Cryomec cryogenic pumps over the past 40 years for many industries, including space,” commented Charles Delaloye, Sales Director, Fives Cryomec AG. 

As part of the agreement, Fives’ teams will also provide technical support to set up the Cryomec LABS pump on Venture’s test bench. 

In addition to the current tests, Venture also plans to assess the technology at different operational points.

Selected in part for its commitment to safety, in 2019 Fives celebrated 500 consecutive days without any accident at its Swiss facility in Allschwil.