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Safran Engineering Services: skills devoted to NewSpace players


Their names: SpaceX, Blue Origin, Rocket Lab and Virgin Galactic. Together, they are the “NewSpace” companies. Safran Engineering Services – which already works for major space projects and government agencies – supplies its skills to these players, who are revolutionizing the market. We take a closer look.

Safran Engineering Services NewSpace skills

NewSpace: A definition

NewSpace is a term that refers to the sector comprising private space companies that have emerged outside of governments and major space agencies such as NASA and ESA. Their goal: To make space exploration more affordable and accessible to a wider audience, and to develop new telecommunications services that are expected to quickly find commercial outlets. They are based on a strong innovation capability, the adoption of agile structures and methods, and greater risk-taking.

They have also been able to surf the wave of major technological developments of recent years in the fields of digital technology, data science and aeronautics. The shrinking of equipment such as nano-satellites, the advent of reusable launchers and the rise of the low-orbit satellite industry have served as a springboard for them, and as a sandbox in which they are able to create their new space-related products and services.

Safran Engineering Services: Added value for NewSpace companies

With its existing commitments alongside major historical players in space projects, Safran Engineering Services is able to support these companies and their new paradigms. “In Britain, we can provide our targeted aeronautics skills for the development of these activities. Here, the government is encouraging projects by New Space companies. Companies that are working in areas such as telecommunications security, surveillance and reconnaissance,” explains Salsabille Aidi, who is responsible for developing Space activities for Safran Engineering Services UK.

In Spain and the United States, the teams are already involved with satellite projects, for which they have been able to design disruptive systems. “We are providing them with our skills in design engineering, stress analysis, and manufacturing and supply-chain support,” says Mercedes Garcia, Director of the Spain, UK and Germany zone at Safran Engineering Services. These teams are also capable of developing complex structures, electrical design and data analysis, which are increasingly key in this sector.

A space-bound innovation project

They have also successfully completed a complex project for one of the NewSpace companies in the United States. “We developed the mechanical system that deploys solar panels and antennas on the prototype of a low-orbit satellites for a large constellation. We were also responsible for the assembly components, the structure of the electronic control box, the electrical wiring and the launcher vehicule adapter, all while adhering to the strict standards of the space sector and very short deadlines,” Mercedes continues. All of the new concepts developed by Safran Engineering Services for these projects have been tested and validated, including on test benches designed by the company and currently installed in a NASA building in the United States.

In this way, we are proving our ability to be agile, innovate and meet the needs of new customers while demonstrating solid industrial skills and recognized know-how. And we can go still further; for example, with our additive manufacturing skills. We will also gain new opportunities by establishing close cooperation between the different countries and sites that make up our company, and take advantage of the overlap between companies with relevant customers, and companies who can support them,” says Felipe Rubio, Director of the Americas zone at Safran Engineering Services Could that support one day extend to the first people to walk on Mars?