Delox becomes second winner of the Open Cosmos, ESA Business Applications and ESA Space Solutions “Call to Orbit” competition

05 Sep, 2019

Harwell, 5 September 2019 – Born in the Science Faculty of the University of Lisbon (FCUL) in Portugal in June 2018, Delox was created as a spin-off startup company, on top of more than seven years of research.

Delox designs and develops a new generation of bio-decontamination devices, thought to fight all microorganisms, based on new proprietary technology. Bio-decontamination is critically important for health care services on Earth, but equally for space applications, especially in the light of planetary protection. With a rapid increase of human missions to other planets, plus an increasing number of spacecraft returning with materials produced in space or on other planetary bodies, the relevance of reliable bio-decontamination is increasing significantly.

Delox’ method of bio-decontamination using vaporisation of hydrogen peroxide is not new. In fact, it is widely used by hospitals and space mission developers around the world, including NASA. However, the existing equipment is expensive, heavy and very complex. As a result, this exciting technology has not been used in space. The solution that Delox develops removes this technical complexity, making the units much smaller, lighter, more robust and much more energy efficient, allowing it to be operated in space. The vaporisation device will be able to withstand the harsh conditions of a rocket launch and operations on board of both crewed and uncrewed spacecraft.

The disruptive potential of this application is massive, as it will allow bio-decontamination of spacecraft after launch. The value of this feature is enormous, as it would eliminate the need for expensive and time-consuming procedures during assembly, test, and launch operations, which are essential to keep spacecraft hardware sterile.

Delox was selected as the second of ten exclusive winners of the Call to Orbit programme, providing it with valuable space mission expertise by Open Cosmos, including mission software and access to satellite payload integration and test hardware, plus knowledge, advice, and introduction to a valuable network to commercialise their idea via the European Space Agency.

By being part of the Call to Orbit programme, Delox will be able to expedite its research and testing, and start designing a test mission in space, on the versatile and easy-to-use Open Cosmos integration platforms. This partnership with a satellite manufacturer and operator allows them to test their concepts with flight-ready hardware.

Fernando Antunes, co-founder of Delox said: “Call to Orbit is a great opportunity for Delox to increase the Technology Readiness Level of its space-dedicated bio-decontamination systems. After a smooth application process, in which the Call to Orbit team was always available to help, an insightful evaluation report was delivered. It all makes Call to Orbit a key program for Delox to reach orbit.”

Rafel Jordá Siquier, founder and CEO of Open Cosmos said: “We are very excited to have Delox in the Call to Orbit programme. Its vision ‘to make bio-decontamination available for everyone, everywhere’ is very much in line with the Open Cosmos vision to make space accessible to anyone. We are convinced that our innovative and easy-to-use payload development tools will enable Delox to expedite development and qualification of their solution for space, making this technology available to the market very soon.”

Frank M. Salzgeber of ESA Business Applications and ESA Space Solutions added: “Delox is a good example of a highly innovative SME looking beyond standard markets. They go where no one else has gone before and this is the same curiosity which drives us.”

About Call to Orbit

Run by Open Cosmos in collaboration with ESA, the Call to Orbit competition will allow a diverse range of organisations to put their technologies and service-oriented applications into orbit. It will reduce the amount of time and money needed to get a satellite-based business off the ground, especially for companies developing new technologies or validating the commercial potential of a new application.

In total 10 winners will be awarded access to Open Cosmos’ orbit readiness program for free, alongside support from ESA, allowing them to go from concept to orbit readiness in just three months using Open Cosmos innovative space mission design software and payload development, test and qualification kits.

Once ready, launch opportunities will become available both under ESA programmes and others, where Open Cosmos is involved providing in orbit demonstration and validation services, taking advantage of Open Cosmos’ beeOrbital service. This will be supported under the partnership with the ESA Pioneer SAPION program.

Do you have a great idea for the next big thing in space technology or the next space data killer app that will benefit from being tested in space, then apply now! The program can be found at

More information

About Delox:
About Open Cosmos:
About ESA Business Applications:
About the Call to Orbit programme: