Polish company will take part in the new shuttle project

The European Space Agency and a consortium of European companies have signed a historic contract with the U.S. Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to supply the IBDM docking system for the new space shuttleoin Dream Chaser, whichore going to deliver supplies to the ISS. Amongod company developing the IBDM is SENER Poland. This project is a big opportunity, also for other local companies – IBDM could hit the global market and become a standard for future space missions.

SNC is one of three companies, along with SpaceX and Boeing, whichora signed a contract with the US space agency NASA for regular supplies to the ISS and the only one thatora is using the concept of an improved shuttle to do so.

IBDM (International Berthing Docking Mechanism) is an innovative docking and mooring system for vehicleoin space. It is equipped with a system for controlling the forces acting between objects during docking, which makes it possible to combine vehicleow o rotion in different sizes. IBDM consists of a systemow „soft” and „hard” docking. The first is used to capture, discharge kinetic energy and position the vehicleoin the right position. The other creates a tight and rigid connection that allows passage between vehicles and provides data and power transfer. IBDM is compatible with the standard systemoin docking created by agencies wspos working on the International Space Station project.

– IBDM is a unique project in many ways – said Dr. Aleksandra Bukała, general director of SENER Poland – It is a rare case when an American company, executing a contract for NASA, decides to use a system created in Europe. It is also a milestone in our plans to use our solution on a large scale and commercialize it. Manned flights into space slowly znoThe project is gaining momentum, with more countries and companies joining in. This increases the demand for a standardized docking system – added.

In the IBDM project, SENER Poland is responsible for the design and production of several important elements of theow: mechanismoin the connection and disconnection of electrical connectors between the shuttle and the space station, the mechanism of theoin separators, sensorsow for monitoring docking, mooring and undocking, as well as shields against micrometeoroids and space debris.

– We anticipate that about 40 percent of. The value of our part of the project will be transferred to other Polish companies, ktoWe will entrust the production of elementsoin the mechanism – explained Bukała – We hope that with the commercialization of the IBDM and the production of more units, a wider stream of money will flow into the Polish space sector, she admitted.

Capsules competitorow are based on the concept developed in the Apollo program and assuming the return of theot into the atmosphere by ballistic flight, followed by a landing in the ocean using huge parachutesow. The Dream Chaser, on the other hand, will be capable of landing at any airport, whichore is able to accommodate large aircraft.