- Press Release
- Oct 31, 2023
Dark, the rocket company that will launch from French airports by 2026
Propelled by its first $5m fundraising round, the French space company is developing its capabilities at lightning
speed. In the short few months since inception, Dark has already built a multi-disciplinary team of experienced
space engineers, secured its headquarters and test facilities, and got its first client commitments. The operational
team is now starting its roadmap towards its maiden launch from France by summer 2026.
As the founders focused on how to find the most virtuous solution for space applications, they found themselves at
the crossroads of legacy and innovation. As with some U.S. systems, the rocket takes off from an airport and, for
the first time in space history, the same rocket will be capable of performing such promising and necessary missions
as deorbiting services and high-altitude testing.
“Dark is all about the future of spacecrafts. But, thinking about building a Space corporation, we realized that we
could not rely only on the growth of the satellite market. So we included in our missions the applications and logistics
that will make a difference 10 years from now.” Guillaume Orvain, Co-founder & CTO of Dark.
Rethink for long term benefits
The key point of the company’s system is to provide the capability to launch to orbit from anywhere on the planet.
To do so, Dark is collaborating with air and space agencies to define the rules, processes and equipment required
to fulfill its mission. As the company’s roadmap is to ace a launch from France by 2026, their first step currently
involves exchanges with DGAC and CNES.
The new staff in charge of spaceports and hybrid launches is being integrated into the team and will define the
operational steps and technical requirements essential to Dark’s solution, striking at the core of the European Union
topics on space traffic.
After this first phase, the chosen launch airport will be communicated by the company and its inauguration payload
will be unveiled.
Building spacecrafts technologies
“Earth and Space are long term runs and we really believe the best applications are yet to come. For us, three
things are clear: first, we can act now to improve our reach in space with radical vision. Then, we can’t get in the
way of our heirs that will live with the consequences of our choices. Finally, there is no short or easy way to do it.
Our Mission at Dark is to build spacecrafts that will empower sustainable human activity in space. Our first system
will accelerate new satellite applications and enhance active debris removal with emergency action, but also provide
a hypersonic test platform that will contribute to the development of future generations of aircraft and spacecraft.
It’s a planetary endeavor. We are recruiting specialists from all around the world, and there is room for everyone to
come and join us: People, space businesses, agencies, governments.” Clyde Laheyne, Co-founder & CEO of Dark.
***The company will soon open a cooperative order book and give satellite operators the opportunity to embark
on dedicated commercial launches aimed at competing with SpaceX’s rideshare.***