Payload carriers allow small satellites lighter than 200 kg to ride 'piggyback' on the launch of the main payload, efficiently combining payloads in the same mission.
These special adapters have been developed through ESA’s Light satellite Low-cost Launch opportunity initiative.
A rideshare ‘multiple launch’ service offers cost-effective launch opportunities for small satellites, from CubeSats to microsats and minisats, technology demonstrators to mega-constellations. This is especially useful for small companies wanting to access the growing space industry.
Vega, Vega-C and Ariane 6 are all set to offer low-cost, standardised launch services for small satellites with a first opportunity on Vega in 2019.