Aerospacelab and DUPUIS break new ground by launching a comic-inspired satellite mission

Aerospacelab and DUPUIS break new ground by launching a comic-inspired satellite mission

SPIP Satellite

Aerospacelab and DUPUIS break new ground by launching a comic-inspired satellite mission

Aerospacelab is about to send its fourth satellite into orbit. For DUPUIS, it’s the first-ever space journey outside of the comics strips.

Mont-Saint-Guibert and Marcinelle, Belgium, 2 November 2023 – 7:30 CET – DUPUIS, the globally renowned publisher of comic albums and magazines, and Aerospacelab, the fast-growing company specialized in designing, manufacturing and operating small satellites, are pleased to announce their collaboration with the launch of Aerospacelab’s Versatile Satellite Platform (VSP), SPIP satellite, the company’s fourth satellite to travel into space. Less than a month after the launch of its PVCC satellite, Aerospacelab is gearing up for another launch from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, United States.

With the new upcoming launch for Earth Observation, Aerospacelab’s SPIP satellite – whose name stands for “multiSPectral Imagery Prototype” and whose mission patch is inspired by DUPUIS’ eponymous well-known character – will fly into space on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 during the Transporter-9 mission via Exolaunch, no earlier than November 2023.

For Aerospacelab and DUPUIS, a collaboration between an actor of the New Space industry and the literary world, an artistic expression often referred to as the “ninth art”, is not just an unprecedented venture to embark upon as future neighbors[1], but also the opportunity to showcase how space exploration provides an opportunity to demonstrate how the complex scientific world of space can be made accessible to everyone.

For Benoit Deper, CEO and founder of Aerospacelab, “Through the mission’s practical applications for Earth Observation and the meaningful symbolism of its patch, we hope this partnership helps to bridge the gap between science and the general public, highlighting the importance of space exploration and scientific pursuits. Through its missions and dedicated mission patches, space encourages inclusivity in the scientific community and fosters a greater understanding of the world beyond our own. As an avid reader of the DUPUIS comics since my childhood, teaming up with such a respected institution on the development of a creative emblematic mission patch is absolutely thrilling!”

An excitement shared by Julie Durot, Managing Director at DUPUIS, as she confirms that “we would have never believed that fiction could become so close to reality for Spip! In the comics industry, space has always been considered as one of the most inspiring theme for exploration. Having a satellite named after one of our historic character with its dedicated mission patch is just incredible.”

François Farinelle, Project Manager leading the development of SPIP satellite at Aerospacelab comments, “this collaboration is an exciting news for all of us! In both industries, attention to detail is essential as well as the challenging ability to be innovative. Whereas our designs, manufacturing processes and the resulting structures for SPIP satellite are robust, reliable, and built to perform to the highest standards, DUPUIS’ excellence in crafting a unique universe with rigor and creativity is the perfect way to introduce and celebrate the new deployment of a satellite fully designed and built by Aerospacelab.”

[1] Aerospacelab’s future megafactory in Charleroi (Belgium) is to be located only 1.5km away from DUPUIS’ headquarters.

SPIP satellite’s key features

Built upon the heritage of Aerospacelab’s previous missions (Arthur-1, Grégoire, PVCC), new units have been designed to support Earth-Observation missions integrating our Versatile Satellite Platform. The MSI mission carried by the SPIP satellite will bring in orbit validation for a series of new units designed and manufactured in-house:

  • Multiple Earth-Observation Imaging Systems
  • Optical Payload Electronics
  • Gigabit Ethernet Switch

An opportunity for Aerospacelab to demonstrate its expertise on a vertical manufacturing integration, SPIP is also expected to concretize the company’s project to build a constellation of Multispectral satellites in the following years.

Note for editors

SPIP Factsheet

Name: SPIP (MultiSPectral Imagery Prototype)

In short: SPIP, a small satellite designed and built by Aerospacelab with the financial support of the Walloon Region (SPW), is based on its Versatile Satellite Platform. Its mission will demonstrate the performances of Earth Observation payloads prototypes, as a building block for upcoming multispectral missions.

  • Satellite mass: 120 kg
  • Satellite dimensions: 100 x 60 x 60 cm3
  • Orbit: SSO 525 km +/- 20 km
  • Receiving stations: Polar stations
  • Lifetime: 5 years
  • Prospected launch window: no earlier than November 2023
  • Launch site: Vandenberg, United Stated
  • Launch vehicle: Falcon 9
  • Launcher mission: SpaceX Transporter-9


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Jocelyne Vanderlinden, Press Relations:
+32 496 55 45 76 –

Célia Berlemont, Marketing and Communications Manager:
+32 474 75 00 02 –

For a century, Dupuis has been constantly innovating and experimenting, exploring the media of its time, from graphic novels to manga, while continuing the adventures of its mythical heroes such as Spirou & Fantasio, Billy & Buddy, Lucky Luke, the Smurfs, the Marsupilami, Gaston Lagaffe, Largo Winch… Always with the aim of offering the public unparalleled reading moments, elevating comics to the rank of favorite medium for millions of readers.

The Spirou newspaper, launched in 1938, changed the face of the world of comics, nurturing extraordinary talents and universes that continue to fascinate readers of all ages. Often a step ahead of their time, the collections of albums that marked the following decades amplified this desire to share the pleasure of reading and discovery. In addition to its publishing activities, the company has not hesitated to develop related activities such as e-commerce, multimedia and audiovisual.

About Aerospacelab
Founded in 2018, Aerospacelab is a fast-growing company specialized in designing, manufacturing and operating small satellite systems. Thanks to its versatile satellite platform, Aerospacelab provides international stakeholders with its technical capabilities to build subsystems and small satellites that can accommodate multiple payloads such as Signal Intelligence, VHR and Multispectral to name a few.

With a unique vertically integrated approach, the company is paving the road to an optimized and cost-efficient way to space. Headquartered in Mont-Saint-Guibert (Belgium), Aerospacelab has also offices in the United States, Switzerland and France with an overall headcount of over 200 employees.