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Redwire Announces Development of New European-Built Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO) Spacecraft Platform called Phantom

Reinforces Redwire’s international leadership in VLEO capabilities

Redwire Corporation (NYSE: RDW), a leader in space infrastructure for the next generation space economy, today announced Phantom, a new European Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO) spacecraft platform. Phantom is being developed at Redwire’s facility in Belgium and is designed to carry out a wide array of intelligence, Earth science, and communications missions. Phantom joins Redwire’s American-built VLEO spacecraft platform, SabreSat, that was recently unveiled.

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Redwire's Phantom European VLEO Platform. Image: Redwire

Redwire's Phantom European VLEO Platform. Image: Redwire

Phantom, like its American counterpart, is intended to fill many different roles in a reliable and cost-effective way. Leveraging over four decades of heritage in satellite design, development and in-orbit operations, Phantom has an aerodynamic design that reduces propellant requirements, and could allow the satellite to stay in VLEO for up to five years. The design also uses standardized off-the-shelf hardware to reduce manufacturing costs and, with a total anticipated spacecraft mass of less than 300 kg, is compatible with existing small satellite launchers.

Redwire will advance Phantom’s design and development through the European Space Agency’s VLEO mission: Skimsat, on which Redwire is working together with Thales Alenia Space in the United Kingdom. The main goals of Skimsat are boosting satellite sustainability and mission performance while reducing spacecraft mass and mission cost by enabling sustained operational capability at lower altitudes. In addition, the Skimsat platform design team seeks to improve key elements such as overall system performance, subsystem modularity, supply chain sustainability and safety of operations in VLEO.

“As a worldwide leader in developing and providing VLEO capabilities, Redwire is thrilled to continue its trailblazing work in VLEO with the new European-built Phantom platform,” said Pete Cannito, Redwire Chairman and CEO. “We believe that VLEO will be a critical domain for the future of defense and intelligence operations, and we are proud to be leading the way in bringing this untapped orbit from concept to reality.”

The strategic significance of VLEO is growing for Earth science, intelligence, communications, and defense and security applications. While low Earth (LEO) and geosynchronous (GEO) orbits are becoming increasingly congested and contested, spacecraft in VLEO operate in a relatively unimpaired environment. Bridging the gap between air and space, VLEO spacecraft fly above airborne anti-access areas while operating significantly closer to the Area of Responsibility on the ground than existing satellites. Additionally, unlike LEO and GEO, debris in VLEO deorbits in hours or days rather than in decades or more.

With Phantom and SabreSat, Redwire is pioneering a new frontier in space. These flexible, resilient, and cost-effective spacecraft will be useful for applications ranging from communications and space domain awareness to high-resolution Earth imaging. These innovative designs build on Redwire’s heritage as a leader in the space economy and are paving the way for a new market for VLEO satellites.

To learn more about Phantom and SabreSat, visit the Phantom web page and the SabreSat web page.

About Redwire

Redwire Corporation (NYSE:RDW) is a global space infrastructure and innovation company enabling civil, commercial, and national security programs. Redwire’s proven and reliable capabilities include avionics, sensors, power solutions, critical structures, mechanisms, radio frequency systems, platforms, missions, and microgravity payloads. Redwire combines decades of flight heritage and proven experience with an agile and innovative culture. Redwire’s approximately 700 employees, working from 14 facilities located throughout the United States and Europe, are committed to building a bold future in space for humanity, pushing the envelope of discovery and science while creating a better world on Earth. For more information, please visit


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