Space Rider
Future Applications

Space Rider


The unmanned and reusable space transport system.


Up to 800 kg


Payload bay

1,200 liters


Space Rider

Reusable unmanned space vehicle


Avio is directly involved in the European Space Agency project called Space Rider. This will be a reusable unmanned space vehicle which will reach Low Earth Orbit to carry out different types of missions. The Space Rider would be fully integrated with Vega C to provide a space laboratory for payloads to operate in orbit for a variety of applications in missions lasting about two months.

Space Rider will have the potential to allow:

  • free-flying applications such as experiments in microgravity; 
  • in-orbit technology demonstration and validation for applications for: 
    • exploration, such as robotics, 
    • Earth observation, such as instrumentation,
    • others, such as Earth science, telecommunication,
  • surveillance applications such as Earth disaster monitoring, satellites inspection.

The space vehicle will be capable of carrying multiple missions for different applications on each flight. Payloads that will be integrated with the payload bay will benefit from a high-tech platform for experiments in space. 


High tech space vehicle


Space Rider will be launched on Vega C from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guyana, remain in space in a low-drag altitude orbit, re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, land with its payload with the help of parachutes, and then refurbished and prepared for the next mission.

Space Rider is designed to operate at different orbital inclinations, from equatorial to high-latitude. The Azores archipelago is therefore a suitable European landing location for missions that require high-latitude inclinations because it allows Space Rider to return at the same latitude as its operational orbit, requiring fewer de-orbiting maneuvers.