Redwire Introduces New European-Built Very Low Earth Orbit Spacecraft Platform

Redwire Introduces New European-Built Very Low Earth Orbit Spacecraft Platform

Redwire Corporation, one of the leaders in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, announced Phantom, a new European Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO) spacecraft platform. Phantom is being developed at Redwire’s facility in Belgium and is designed to carry out a wide array of intelligence, Earth science, and communications missions. Phantom joins Redwire’s American-built VLEO spacecraft platform, SabreSat, which was recently unveiled.

Phantom, like its American counterpart, is intended to fill many different roles in a reliable and cost-effective way. Leveraging over four decades of heritage in satellite design, development, and in-orbit operations, Phantom has an aerodynamic design that reduces propellant requirements and could allow the satellite to stay in VLEO for up to five years. The design also uses standardized off-the-shelf hardware to reduce manufacturing costs and, with a total anticipated spacecraft mass of less than 300 kg, is compatible with existing small satellite launchers.

Redwire will advance Phantom’s design and development through the European Space Agency’s VLEO mission: Skimsat, on which Redwire is working together with Thales Alenia Space in the United Kingdom.  The main goals of Skimsat are boosting satellite sustainability and mission performance while reducing spacecraft mass and mission cost by enabling sustained operational capability at lower altitudes. In addition, the Skimsat platform design team seeks to improve key elements such as overall system performance, subsystem modularity, supply chain sustainability, and safety of operations in VLEO.

“As a worldwide leader in developing and providing VLEO capabilities, Redwire is thrilled to continue its trailblazing work in VLEO with the new European-built Phantom platform,” said Pete Cannito, Redwire Chairman and CEO. “We believe that VLEO will be a critical domain for the future of defense and intelligence operations, and we are proud to be leading the way in bringing this untapped orbit from concept to reality.”

The strategic significance of VLEO is growing for Earth science, intelligence, communications, and defense and security applications. While low Earth (LEO) and geosynchronous (GEO) orbits are becoming increasingly congested and contested, spacecraft in VLEO operate in a relatively unimpaired environment. Bridging the gap between air and space, VLEO spacecraft fly above airborne anti-access areas while operating significantly closer to the Area of Responsibility on the ground than existing satellites. Additionally, unlike LEO and GEO, debris in VLEO deorbits in hours or days rather than in decades or more.

With Phantom and SabreSat, Redwire is pioneering a new frontier in space. These flexible, resilient, and cost-effective spacecraft will be useful for applications ranging from communications and space domain awareness to high-resolution Earth imaging. These innovative designs build on Redwire’s heritage as a leader in the space economy and are paving the way for a new market for VLEO satellites.

Click here to learn more about Redwire's SabreSat VLEO Platform.

Click here to learn more about Redwire's Phantom VLEO Platform.

Publisher: SatNow

GNSS Constellations - A list of all GNSS satellites by constellations


Satellite NameOrbit Date
BeiDou-3 G4Geostationary Orbit (GEO)17 May, 2023
BeiDou-3 G2Geostationary Orbit (GEO)09 Mar, 2020
Compass-IGSO7Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)09 Feb, 2020
BeiDou-3 M19Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M20Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)16 Dec, 2019
BeiDou-3 M21Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M22Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)23 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 I3Inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Nov, 2019
BeiDou-3 M23Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019
BeiDou-3 M24Medium Earth Orbit (MEO)22 Sep, 2019


Satellite NameOrbit Date
GSAT0223MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0224MEO - Near-Circular05 Dec, 2021
GSAT0219MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0220MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0221MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0222MEO - Near-Circular25 Jul, 2018
GSAT0215MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0216MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0217MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017
GSAT0218MEO - Near-Circular12 Dec, 2017


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Kosmos 2569--07 Aug, 2023
Kosmos 2564--28 Nov, 2022
Kosmos 2559--10 Oct, 2022
Kosmos 2557--07 Jul, 2022
Kosmos 2547--25 Oct, 2020
Kosmos 2545--16 Mar, 2020
Kosmos 2544--11 Dec, 2019
Kosmos 2534--27 May, 2019
Kosmos 2529--03 Nov, 2018
Kosmos 2527--16 Jun, 2018


Satellite NameOrbit Date
Navstar 82Medium Earth Orbit19 Jan, 2023
Navstar 81Medium Earth Orbit17 Jun, 2021
Navstar 78Medium Earth Orbit22 Aug, 2019
Navstar 77Medium Earth Orbit23 Dec, 2018
Navstar 76Medium Earth Orbit05 Feb, 2016
Navstar 75Medium Earth Orbit31 Oct, 2015
Navstar 74Medium Earth Orbit15 Jul, 2015
Navstar 73Medium Earth Orbit25 Mar, 2015
Navstar 72Medium Earth Orbit29 Oct, 2014
Navstar 71Medium Earth Orbit02 Aug, 2014


Satellite NameOrbit Date
NVS-01Geostationary Orbit (GEO)29 May, 2023
IRNSS-1IInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)12 Apr, 2018
IRNSS-1HSub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO)31 Aug, 2017
IRNSS-1GGeostationary Orbit (GEO)28 Apr, 2016
IRNSS-1FGeostationary Orbit (GEO)10 Mar, 2016
IRNSS-1EGeosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)20 Jan, 2016
IRNSS-1DInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)28 Mar, 2015
IRNSS-1CGeostationary Orbit (GEO)16 Oct, 2014
IRNSS-1BInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)04 Apr, 2014
IRNSS-1AInclined Geosynchronous Orbit (IGSO)01 Jul, 2013