Zenno’s Superconducting Technology Opens Up a Universe of New Possibilities in Space

Zenno Astronautics has celebrated the first space launch of Z01, its superconducting magnetic torquer for fuel-free spacecraft attitude control. Zenno’s in-orbit validation of Z01 is the first-ever demonstration of high-temperature superconducting electromagnets in space, unlocking new possibilities for space operations in close proximity and beyond. 

Zenno’s Z01 SuperTorquer lifted off into space on December 1, 2023, hosted on an orbital transfer vehicle from D-Orbit, a company in the space logistics industry. D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier will deploy after lift-off into a 560km Sun Synchronous Orbit on its “Beyond” mission. D-Orbit will perform orbital demonstrations of Z01, integrated into its satellite carrier, during the mission.

© Zenno Astronautics

 Zenno co-founder and CEO Max Arshavsky says,

“The future has arrived as superconducting technology opens up a universe of new possibilities and accelerates the shift towards more dynamic operations. Z01 is a compelling innovation for satellite manufacturers and operators who want to deliver new capability and drive greater productivity from missions, now; it’s a powerful fuel-free source of force in space that is sustainable, safe, scalable, fully electric and superior to existing technology options.  Our first Z01 product is designed to control the attitude of a spacecraft in orbit – enabling fuel-free manoeuvring, a world-first. The Z01 single and Z01 3-axis dipole systems offer significantly lower size, weight and power cost benefits compared with the traditional magnetorquers they replace. Z01’s capability is fully scalable and unlocks yet-to-be-explored advancements for satellite mission length, productivity gains and expansion into space. Fully magnetic satellite agility is just the start.” 

Zenno recently formed a special commercial partnership with D-Orbit to collaborate on the development of new space products and services using superconducting electromagnets – including practical solutions for the first fuel-free desaturation of reaction wheels in high-altitude orbits and radiation shielding of hardware using superconducting electromagnets. 

D-Orbit founder and CEO Luca Rossettini says,

We congratulate Zenno on a milestone day for their Z01 technology as it embarks on its in-orbit validation on board our ION Satellite Carrier on our 13th commercial mission. This day is a step forward in our collaboration with Zenno, as together, we are committed to developing innovation to help the space industry accelerate the development of more affordable, sustainable and high-performance spacecraft.”