MEGA SATELLITE FACTORY IN CHARLEROI, BELGIUM

Credit: Aerospacelab

Aerospacelab proudly unveils its satellite megafactory commitment, with a yearly production capacity of 500 satellites, making it effectively the largest satellite manufacturing plant in Europe. This groundbreaking new site, which will be built by Sambrinvest in Charleroi, follows the launch of its Monnet Center facility, located in Ottignies-Louvain-La-Neuve, which can produce up to 24 satellites a year.

Dedicated to generating positive impact globally by making geospatial intelligence actionable and affordable, Aerospacelab has taken a fully vertically integrated approach. The team is closely involved in satellite design, prototyping, and hardware testing, producing satellites and constellations for a broad range of applications. With these wide-ranging capabilities, Aerospacelab supports decision-making through satellite intelligence in environment protection, sustainable commodity production, agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, security, and more.

Since its inception in 2018, Aerospacelab has been striving to meet the accelerating demand for satellites in the decade ahead. Propelled by its 40m euro Series B fundraise back in February 2022, the company is already ramping up satellite production capacity, deploying multiple constellations to establish same-day monitoring of the Earth’s surface, and implementing Aerospacelab’s unique geospatial data fusion analytics capabilities.

Benoît Deper, CEO and founder of Aerospacelab, explains: “We’ve been inspired by the automotive industry where standardised products still have the possibility to be customised for specific needs. We are establishing satellite manufacturing plants, complete with production lines utilising ‘off-the-shelf’ components. Both at the factory in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve and at the megafactory in Charleroi, we own and operate all the testing facilities relevant for satellite manufacturing, which promotes the vertical integration that gives us the edge in agility. Ultimately, we are striving to make the ‘Henry Ford moment’ in satellite manufacturing happen.”

According to Euroconsult, by 2030 over 1700 satellites every year worldwide are expected to be launched.

On Tuesday 14 June, a ceremony organised together with Sambrinvest, was held to celebrate breaking ground at the new site. Attending were European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton; Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Telecommunication Petra De Sutter; Federal Minister of Defence Ludivine De Donder; Vice-President of the Walloon government Willy Borsus; Walloon Minister of Budget & Finances Adrien Dolimont; State Secretary for Economic Recovery and Strategic Investments Thomas Dermine; State Secretary for Digitalisation Mathieu Michel; and Mayor of Charleroi Paul Magnette.

Willy Borsus, Vice-President of the Walloon government, said: “Sambrinvest plays a structuring role in the economic development of Wallonia and real estate is now an important pillar of their strategy. Aerospacelab Megafactory project is the perfect illustration of the essential role a venture capital can play to vitalize our economy and ensure that Wallonia and Belgium stay at the forefront of technology in Europe and in the world.”

The first satellites will roll off the assembly line at Aerospacelab’s new megafactory by the beginning of 2025.

About Aerospacelab

Established in Belgium, Switzerland and France, Aerospacelab is a fast-growing company created in 2018, counting more than 140 full time employees. With a unique vertically integrated approach, Aerospacelab is specialized in satellite platforms and geospatial intelligence. It designs, manufactures and operates constellations of remote sensing satellites, empowering intelligence and insights by its proprietary satellite data.

Source: Aerospacelab

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.