Robert Lainé, former Ariane Launcher Program Director, joins Celestia Aerospace

Press Release From: Celestia Aerospace
Posted: Monday, May 15, 2017

Barcelona, 15 May 2017.- Celestia Aerospace, a pioneering turnkey orbit solutions aerospace company, is proud to announce that Robert Lainé PhD, former head of the Ariane european launcher program, joins the company's team.

Robert Lainé is one of the key pieces to understand the evolution of Europe's space industry during the last four decades. He has been in charge of keystone projects such as the Giotto probe systems, the XMM-Newton space telescope or the International Space Station cargo ship Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). In recent years, he was appointed Head of the Ariane launcher program at the European Space Agency (ESA) and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the european aerospace consortium EADS Space (now Airbus Defence and Space).

Robert Lainé, a french electronics engineer (ENSEA) and PhD Honoris Causa by Surrey University (UK), will contribute with his vast experience in a wide variety of aerospace projects to consolidate and accelerate the proprietary "Sagittarius Launch System", the airborne launch system designed by Celestia Aerospace.

Robert Lainé joins the senior staff already composed of Professor Adriano Camps, PhD in Telecommunications Engineering, Professor at the Telecommunications Engineering School of Barcelona (BarcelonaTech - Technical University of Catalonia, UPC), and Professor Ángel Mateo, PhD in Aerospace Engineering, Professor at the Aerospace Engineering School of Madrid (Madrid Polytech).


Celestia Aerospace will build cube-shaped satellites – ranging from 1 to 10 Kg – and small dimensions – from 10 centimeters of edge – designated nanosatellites.

For the first time ever, a single aerospace company offers low-cost, turnkey solutions for any business willing to gain access to orbit. Celestia Aerospace solutions will comprise every step of the space chain: from the design and development of the nanosatellite to the launch, operations and data delivery to the final user.

The goal is for the client company to have a single interlocutor in the aerospace chain: client needs are determined and a customized solution is designed, which then is developed into a nanosatellite.

One of the keys for the low development cost is standardization and the use of off-the-shelf technologies, that is, widely used commercial applications, from sectors such as the multimedia or mobile communications.

The launch, orbital operation, and data management are managed by Celestia Aerospace as well, so that the client will just have to sit in front of the computer and wait for the desired data to download.


BioPharmaSAT, SemicondSAT, and TestSAT are the first pioneering standards that will be developed by Celestia Aerospace, and they are aimed at the BioTech-Pharma, Electronic and Aerospace industries, respectively.

The absence of contact forces in weightlessness allows for the reveal of other forces which are normally masked by weight, thus offering an optimal environment for such processes as protein crystallization, of critical importance for the BioTech-Pharma industry, or as material crystallization for the optimization of semiconductors. TestSAT, in turn, is a nanosatellite specifically designed to test small components for larger satellites in orbital conditions. SALS (SAGITTARIUS AIRBORNE LAUNCH SYSTEM),


The SALS is the first of its kind and it will service both Celestia Aerospace's own nanosatellites and other companies that require a fast, flexible, and affordable launch solution. The Sagittarius launch system is an airborne platform capable of reaching orbits of 600 Km of altitude, and it is composed of two components: The Archer, a demilitarized MiG-29UB supersonic jet; and The Space Arrow, a launcher based on a modified missile capable of transporting up to 16 nanosatellites to orbit in a single operation.

Sagittarius will operate from an airport in Spain. Celestia Aerospace will also offer its clients the possibility of actually launching their own nanosatellite from the backseat of the MiG-29UB. The Archer will also be used to offer space tourism flights to 20 Km of altitude, where the flier will be able to see the curvature of the planet and the darkness of space.

The advantages of this new launch system are varied: its low cost compared to normal launch platforms for this kind of satellites, which now have to fly as 'piggyback' cargo in larger rockets; the just-in-time service, allowing for a record waiting time of 2 weeks, radically more flexible than the average year-and-a-half for the available launch opportunities; total mission focus, as the launch is strictly prepared for the nanosatellites, compared to the limitations of flying as secondary cargo of a larger satellite; and total flexibility in terms of calendar, as the launch can be moved without problems to accommodate delays in the nanosatellite development.

Celestia Aerospace will initially hire a team of 40 scientists and engineers, technicians, and pilots, and it will gradually expand its activities, with a 5-year expansion plan which will include the recruitment of new university graduates.


At the helm of Celestia Aerospace we find Gloria Garcia-Cuadrado, theoretical physicist and entrepreneur, President and CEO of the company. Gloria holds a Bs and Ms in theoretical physics from the Barcelona University (UB) and holds a degree in Space Studies under the specialty of Space Business and Management from the International Space University (ISU) at California (USA).

She has developed her professional career in several centers such as the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia; the Aerospace Technology Centre (CTAE), where she was Head of the Human Spaceflight and Advanced Concepts Area; or the Aerospace Cluster of Catalonia (BAIE), where she was appointed General Director. She led the project for Virgin Galactic's Spaceport in Spain and she has been a key-note speaker in several important congresses such as the world reference in commercial access to space "International Symposium on Private and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCF)", at Las Cruces, New Mexico (USA).


Small satellites are driving a change in the aerospace industry. The market is in the transition from an era controlled by a few government agencies and industry giants towards a new era of space open to small and medium companies with innovative and flexible solutions and fast response times.

The global Small Satellites market is valued at 600 million to 1000 million USD yearly with an estimated 2.200 to 2.700 needed launches within the 2015-2020 timeframe. These figures are based on current launchers available. The onset of new, dedicated small satellite launchers such as Celestia Aerospace's Sagittarius Launch System will mean a significant increase in the market demand.

Mr. Daniel Ventura González
Mobile Phone: +34 620 285 891

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