A new decade of European exploration – to the Moon and Mars
Airbus to design the European Large Logistic Lander (EL3)
EL3 to deliver scientific or logistic payloads to lunar surface
European service offering to NASA
BREMEN, Germany, 14 October 2020 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as one of the two primes for the definition phase of the European Large Logistic Lander (EL3). In this study (phase A/B1), Airbus will develop the concept of a large multi-role logistic lander able to transport up to 1.7 tons of cargo to any location on the lunar surface. EL3 flights are set to begin in the late 2020s, with a cadence of missions over the following decade and more.
A new decade of European exploration – to the Moon and Mars
Airbus to design and build the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) for Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign
ERO will reach Mars orbit, capture orbiting samples launched from the Red Planet and bring them back to Earth
TOULOUSE, 14 October 2020 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as prime contractor for the Mars Sample Return’s Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) – the first ever spacecraft to bring samples back to Earth from Mars. Mars Sample Return (MSR) is a joint ESA-NASA campaign and the next step in the exploration of Mars. ERO and the Sample Fetch Rover (SFR) are the two main European elements of MSR, both are set to be designed and built by Airbus.
A manipulating arm, referred to as the Sample Transfer Arm (STA), that will transfer the samples from the SFR to the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), is the third European contribution to the MSR program. The value of the ERO contract is €491 million [$574.8 million].
The three engines for Europe’s new Ariane 6 launcher have now completed their qualification tests, following the successful qualification testing of the P120C solid propulsion engine on October 7 at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana
The qualification test campaigns for the Vinci and Vulcain 2.1 liquid propulsion engines were held in 2018 and 2019, respectively
The Vulcain 2.1 and Vinci engines, which will be powering the first Ariane 6, are ready to be mounted on the core stage in Les Mureaux and on the upper stage in Bremen
PARIS (ArianeGroup PR) — The future European launcher’s three types of engines use two different propulsion technologies:
liquid hydrogen-oxygen propulsion for the Vulcain 2.1 core stage engine and the re-ignitable Vinci engine on the upper stage;
solid propulsion for the P120C engine fitted to the boosters which help propel Ariane 6 beyond the gravitational pull of earth’s atmosphere.
ABU DHABI, UAE/TOULOUSE, France, Aug 27, 2020 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been selected by Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), the UAE’s leading global satellite operator, to build Thuraya 4-NGS, the next generation mobile telecommunications system that will drive the continued advancement of Thuraya’s L-band business.
Thuraya 4-NGS will deliver higher capabilities and flexibility while increasing capacity and coverage across Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, enabling next generation mobility solutions for all customer segments, including defense, government and enterprise.
New multi-mission satellite to deliver broadcast, broadband and telecommunications services over Europe, Middle East, Africa and central Asia
TELEO payload for new generation optical communications
Eighth Eurostar satellite for Arabsat and first Eurostar Neo
RIYADH, 18 August 2020 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been contracted by Arabsat, one of the world’s top satellite operators, to build BADR-8, their new generation telecommunications satellite. BADR-8 will replace and increase Arabsat’s capacity and augment its core business at the BADR hotspot 26°E.
The BADR-8 satellite will be based on the-state-of-the-art Airbus Eurostar Neo electric orbit raising platform giving access to a wide range of launchers.
Scientists from the UK are playing a vital role in a NASA mission to Mars launched on Thursday, 30 July.
SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Backed by the UK Space Agency, researchers at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum will help the NASA Perseverance rover select Martian rock and soil samples to be brought back from the red planet as it searches for evidence of ancient microbial life.
On 1 July 2020, the European Space Agency awarded contracts for the development and construction of six further Copernicus satellites.
Contracts with a value of more than 800 million euro are being awarded to space companies in Germany, a high percentage of which are SMEs.
The new satellites are intended to help find answers to the global challenges posed by climate change, population growth and environmental problems.
BONN, Germany (DLR PR) — Sentinel satellites are at the heart of Copernicus, Europe’s largest Earth observation programme. Sentinels are already reliably and continuously providing large amounts of data on the state of the climate, vegetation and oceans. Now, six more ‘Earth Guardians’, the High Priority Candidate Missions (HPCM), are being added.
LONDON (DSTL PR) — The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (DSTL) new satellite control ground station will support its first space mission following the launch of the Faraday-1 satellite. This mission will contribute towards international research collaborations to facilitate satellite operations between nations in support of wider defence science and technology goals in the space domain.
Manufactured by In-Space, Faraday-1 (also known as Prometheus-1 in the MOD community) will be launched from the Rocket Lab’s complex in Mahia, New Zealand, on 3 July, and orbit the Earth for a nominal period of three years to collect commercial data for industry partners.
The Financial Timesreports that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to invest about £500 million ($621 million) as part of a wider consortium bid in bankrupt satellite provider OneWeb.
The company, which planned to offer satellite broadband services, launched 74 spacecraft in Earth orbit before it ran out of money in March. OneWeb has a manufacturing facility in Florida that is a joint venture with Airbus.
The British government is looking to develop its own satellite navigation system because UK companies were barred from being involved in the European Union’s (EU) Galileo system after Britain left the trade bloc.
However, developing and launching a separate system could cost more than £5 billion ($6.2 billion). U.S. defense officials were also opposed to the creating of a rival to the Global Positioning System (GPS).
The Financial Times reports that the Satellite Applications Catapult has proposed installing navigation technology on future OneWeb satellites. Spacecraft manufacturing would be moved from Florida to Britain.
The navigation system based on low orbiting OneWeb satellites would serve as a supplement, not a rival, to the GPS satellites.
Bids for OneWeb are due on Friday. There is reported interest from groups in France and China.
PARIS (ESA PR) — A fully reconfigurable, software-defined, standardized satellite for the commercial telecommunications market is under development, as an ESA Partnership Project.
ESA has signed a contract with satellite manufacturer Airbus to develop and qualify OneSat, which will operate in a geostationary orbit.
The contract was negotiated under teleworking and remote meeting conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The timely conclusion of the negotiations demonstrates the strong commitment of all parties and the agility of the processes used to manage ESA Partnership Projects.
The Novacom 1 Partnership Project to build OneSat will be jointly managed by ESA and the French Space Agency, CNES.
OneSat is part of ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES). Like previous Neosat Partnership Projects, it is expected to generate an exceptional return on investment to European industry and ESA Member States.
Xenesis to space-test optical communication terminal aboard Airbus facility on ISS
HOUSTON, 05 May 2020 (Airbus/Xenesis PR) – Airbus and Xenesis have signed a contract for a payload slot on the International Space Station (ISS) Bartolomeo platform for the demonstration of their Xen-Hub optical communication space terminal.
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany, 15 April 2020 (Airbus PR) – CIMON-2, the updated version of the CIMON astronaut assistant, developed and built by Airbus for the German Aerospace Center Space Administration (DLR), has now demonstrated its capabilities during initial tests on the International Space Station (ISS).