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Launched on Vega-C, Space Rider will serve as an uncrewed high-tech space laboratory operating for periods longer than two months in low orbit.
Up to 800 kg of payloads can fit inside the environmentally controlled cargo bay that offers 1200 litres of payload volume and provides services including 600 watts of power along with thermal, control, data-handling and telemetry capability.
Offering an array of orbit altitudes and inclinations, Space Rider will enable a large variety of experiments in microgravity, open opportunities for educational missions, and help prove technologies for Earth observation, science, telecommunication and robotic exploration.
Non-space-based companies can use Space Rider as a shortcut into the space arena, bypassing the need to become expert space users.
At the end of its mission, Space Rider will then re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and land, returning its valuable payload to eager engineers and scientists at the landing site. After minimal refurbishment it will be ready for its next mission with new payloads and a new mission.