07 01 24


New Frontiers For In-Orbit Servicing

Proximity Operations and High-Resolution Images Inspection

The Iperdrone program is funded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and aims at developing a Low cost reusable re-entry system able to interoperate with space infrastructures and to integrate space to ground.

The Iperdrone program capitalizes the competencies gained by Italy in development and exploitation of satellites and re-entry systems. The program will foster the national competences in re-entry field at system level, improving the enabling technologies portfolio to pull Italy players closer to the technology frontier. Iperdrone has the overall objective to develop a small autonomous re-entry system able to perform in orbit operations, interoperate with space infrastructures, deliver experiments to users in a short time, re-enter and perform a precision landing.

The Iperdrone program is based on an incremental phased approach, implemented through a series of subsequent projects. 

This first mission (Iperdrone.0) is the initial risk-reduction step of a long-term program developing a multi-functional re-entry system able to perform autonomous on-orbit operations. It is a 6U nanosatellite aiming at validating the system performance, GNC algorithms, together with Optical Payload for inspection purposes and cold gas propulsion technology system for proximity operations.

The second project, named Iperdrone.1, will target the system re-entry, focusing on innovative propulsion systems for attitude control and De-orbiting maneuvers and materials and structures for TPS (Thermal Protection System). 

The main objectives of Iperdrone.0 are the following: 

  • Demonstrating the capability to acquire images demonstrating capability of external inspection and survey purposes of a reference target; 
  • Demonstrating the capability to perform rendezvous in space with a non-cooperative target; 
  • Demonstrating the capability to perform a maneuver to achieve precisely targeted reentry. 

Iperdrone.0 is equipped with the Perseus thruster, a 6 DOF (Degrees Of Freedom) propulsion system developed specifically for this mission. The development of the thruster involved the collaboration of Tyvak International and Technology for Propulsion and Innovation (T4I), Italy, which helped developing the tank, made in additive manufacturing, the fluidic line including phase separator, and the micro-nozzles. 






Tyvak International


6U NanoSatellite

Launch Date

July 1, 2024

Launch Vehicle

Falcon 9 SpaceX

Mission Length


Mission Completion


Falcon 9 SpaceX

Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond. Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital class reusable rocket. Reusability allows SpaceX to refly the most expensive parts of the rocket, which in turn drives down the cost of space access. (Source: Space X)

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