D-Orbit is a first-mover in the market of decommissioning devices and a disruptor in next-generation commissioning solutions. We are leading the future in satellite fleet management by developing state-of-the-art technology to be integrated on satellites and launcher stages to streamline the initial and the final phase of the mission, reducing system complexity and cost of operation, and increasing lifetime, reliability, and revenues.

The Challenge

D-Orbit aims at disrupting the space industry by redefining how commissioning and decommissioning, the initial and final phase of a space mission, are performed, addressing current shortcomings and creating value in the process.

Commissioning is a critical phase for the new generation geostationary satellites, equipped with electric propulsion only. While electric propulsion is very effective for attitude control maneuver, its low thrust causes a slow transfer – up to six months – from parking orbit to operational orbit, delaying the start of operations and therefore postponing the revenue-generating phase. During the transfer, the satellite is exposed for a long time to radiation from the Van Allen belt, with consequences on the solar arrays and other electronic components.

End-of-life decommissioning, as mandated by increasingly stringent international regulations, is quickly becoming a concern for satellite operators, especially in view of next-generation mega-constellations. Besides the legal requirement, removing satellites at the end of life is becoming necessary to reduce the risk of collision with defunct spacecraft. Yet, satellite’s onboard propulsive systems are not optimized for end-of-life maneuvers, leading to end-of-life operations that are long, complex, expensive, that cut the lifetime of a satellite, and that cannot be performed at all in case of satellite failure.


D-Orbit’s Solutions

D-Orbit has a patented product line of smart, modular systems, based on solid rocket motor systems, proprietary core technologies to protect and maximize satellite value in an increasingly hazardous space environment.

  •      D-Raise is a compact, independent, solid propulsion system specialized in commissioning maneuvers for full-electric satellite platform. Thanks to its compact, high thrust motor, D-Raise speeds up the transfer maneuver from parking orbit to operational orbit by boosting the perigee up to an altitude of 10,000km, well above the Van Allen radiation belts. This maneuver enables satellite operators to perform orbit circularization maneuvers much quicker, anticipating the revenue-generation phase, while preventing unnecessary deterioration of solar arrays and other electronic components.

  •      D3 is an independent, smart motor specialized in decommissioning maneuvers. Installed on satellites before launch, D3 removes them from operational orbit at the end-of-life or in case of major failure in a quick, safe and controlled manner. D3 is fully compliant with international space debris regulations, helping operators of constellations to cleanly remove satellites at the end of life, maintaining their orbits clean from uncontrolled satellites and reducing collision risk.

  •      D-Launcher system is a specialized version of D3 designed to eliminate upper stages by executing a precise deorbit maneuver into a safe re-entry zone, enabling an optimal use of onboard fuel for the launch itself. D-Launcher ensures launch operators to meet restrictions prohibiting use of launchers beyond certain altitudes unless deorbit is guaranteed, minimizing debris build up and risk of collision.

The Future

D-Orbit is currently working at D-Sat, a D3-powered satellite that will demonstrate self-decommissioning technology in space by the end of 2016.

After that, the sky is the limit. D-Orbit is working on life extension solution for on-orbit GEO satellites, and active debris removal. Providing on-orbit services is D-Orbit’s strategic business objective. Industry partnering discussions are underway.




Disrupting the space industry by redefining how satellites and other space vehicles are transported, commissioned, serviced, and decommissioned, addressing shortcomings, preserving space resources, and creating value in the process.


To define the new standard of satellite constellations management by developing self-decommissioning platforms and satellites' and launcher stages’ innovative components to streamline the initial and the final phase of the mission for an effective orbital transfer, reducing systems complexity and cost of operation, and increasing lifetime, reliability and revenues.


  • Luca Rossettini Luca Rossettini
    Luca RossettiniChief Executive Officer
  • Renato Panesi Renato Panesi
    Renato PanesiChief Commercial Officer
  • Pietro Guerrieri Pietro Guerrieri
    Pietro GuerrieriVP Business Development
  • Lorenzo Ferrario Lorenzo Ferrario
    Lorenzo FerrarioChief Technical Officer
  • Monica Valli Monica Valli
    Monica ValliHead of Programs
  • Robert W. Dean Robert W. Dean
    Robert W. DeanChief Executive Officer D-Orbit Inc.
  • Gonçalo Lopes Gonçalo Lopes
    Gonçalo LopesChief Technical Officer D-Orbit PT



  • ALPINE High-tech Venture Forum 2016 Best Presentation Award
  • B-Corp Best for the World 2016 Winner
  • Premio Italiano Meccatronica 2016 Most Innovative Startup
  • Pioneers Asia Challenge 2016 Finalist
  • B-Corp Best for the World 2015 Environment Honoree
  • ESA Investment Forum 2014 Best Presentation Award
  • MassChallenge 2014 Finalist
  • Building Global Innovators 2013 Winner
  • Red Herring Global 2013 Winner
  • Red Herring Europe 2013 Winner
  • Impresa + Innovazione + Lavoro 2013 Winner
  • IAIR Awards 2013 Best Company for Innovation and Leadership
  • Pioneers Startup Challenge 2013 Top 50 Startup
  • Talento delle Idee 2012 Third Place
  • Bassetti Award 2011 Most Responsible Startup
  • Mind the Bridge Business Plan Competition 2011 Finalist
  • Premio Nazionale Innovazione 2011 Second Place
  • Rice Business Plan Competition 2010 Finalist


D-Orbit is dedicated to making its business a force for good, optimizing both economic performance and social impact in order to improve the environmental capital.

We are the first European company to be registered as Benefit Corporation, and the first aerospace company to have received the B-Corp certification worldwide.

D-Orbit places equal emphasis on three pillars: profit, benefit, global impact.

Our products are designed to solve global challenges with a high social impact. Our internal organization leverages the value of people and the positive relationship with all our stakeholders.




  • European Space Agency Clean Space Initiative
  • European Commission This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N 711193
  • Airbus
  • The Natural Step
  • Nativa Lab
  • Elemaster Group
  • Bayern Chemie
  • Social Enterprise Project Supported by Kolon Kandya Italia Onlus
  • Invitalia