ESA signs up for UK lunar support services

Posted on 09 May 2018 and read 587 times
ESA signs up for UK lunar support servicesThe European Space Agency (ESA) (www.esa.int) has signed a collaboration agreement with Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) in Cornwall (www.goonhilly.org), and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL)(www.sstl.co.uk), for commercial lunar-mission support services.

This partnership for exploration aims to develop a European lunar telecommunications and navigation infrastructure, including the delivery of payloads and ‘nanosats’ to lunar orbit.

It will take a low-risk phased approach to implementing a sustainable long-term commercial service, and it will support lunar scientific and economic development in Europe and the rest of the world.

The agreement includes the upgrade of GES for commercial deep-space services — and a lunar pathfinder mission.

It also encompasses the commercial and regulatory support to ‘catalyse’ the lunar economy and provide affordable access to the lunar environment (and ultimately deep space).

The agreement was signed by Ian Jones of GES, Sir Martin Sweeting of SSTL and David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration at ESA.

Mr Parker said: “This agreement establishes ESA’s first partnership for providing commercial services in support of lunar missions.

“The Lunar Pathfinder mission would provide exciting new opportunities for science and technology demonstration and open deep-space access to new players.”

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