The Space Rider is a project of automated space vehicle, which can be reused for unmanned re-entry and is currently being studied by the ESA and mainly funded by Italy.

The Space Rider is a project of automated and reusable space vehicle for unmanned re-entry, which is currently being studied by the ESA and is mainly funded by Italy.

This mini-shuttle picks up the baton from IXV, an experimental space shuttle developed in Italy and tested in 2015, and should debut in 2021.

Strongly wanted by the Italian Space Agency, Space Rider is the result of an agreement between the ESA and Thales Alenia Space, together with the European Launch Vehicle consortium setup by Avio and the ASI. CIRA will play an important role in this system, up to the development and increase of telecommunication satellite applications.

Space Rider will be launched from the European spaceport of French Guyana, aboard the ESA VEGA vector, in its new C version. It could remain up to two months in space, testing new in-flight technologies and carrying out several microgravity experiments, whose results will be analyzed during the re-entry on Earth.

The space shuttle, which is capable of carrying out a controlled atmospheric re-entry from the low terrestrial orbit, will be made available to commercial and institutional customers and will have an 800-kg payload.

‣ News


Italy, France and Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the ‘SPACEFOUNDERS’ European program ‣

The Italian Space Agency (ASI), the French Space Agency (CNES) and the University of the Bundeswehr in Munich (UniBW) are committed to cooperating for ”SpaceFounders”, the European New Space accelerator launched in 2021 by CNES with UniBw MORE...

FRIDAY 12 MAY 2023

The fjords of Greenland observed by PRISMA ‣

The images shown on this page are elaborations of the visible and infrared bands of an acquisition over Greenland in May 2021 MORE...


The desertification of the Aral Sea ‣

This composition is obtained by processing a PRISMA image acquired in January 2021 on the Aral Sea area MORE...


JUICE is en route to unveil Jupiter’s secrets and Italy is onboard ‣

The European space science mission JUICE successfully launched into space.  State-of-the-art instruments developed and funded by the Italian Space Agency are featured aboard the probe. The Italian Agency has coordinated the participation in Juice of several entities, enterprises, and other national space agencies MORE...


Rivers in the tropical forest observed by PRISMA ‣

Iguazu Falls area observed by the Italian satellite MORE...