NOORDWIJK, Netherlands (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and ESA (European Space Agency) Director General Josef Aschbacher signed two agreements Wednesday at the ESA Council meeting in Noordwijk, Netherlands, further advancing the space agencies’ cooperation on Earth science and Artemis missions.
Noordwijk, The Netherlands (ESA PR) — The next steps in exploring and using space for the benefit of European citizens were this week on the agenda at ESA’s Council meeting in ESA/ESTEC, the Netherlands on 14 and 15 June. The possibility of the first-ever European astronaut to set foot on the Moon, a telecommunication satellite for lunar exploration and a mission to return precious rock samples from Mars were all discussed.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson joined the meeting with ESA Member States in a decisive gesture to advocate for Europe’s strong role in multiple projects which reinforce the enduring partnership between the two leading space agencies.
“From understanding our changing planet to exploring Mars, I hugely value the cooperation we have with NASA” says ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher. “By contributing key European hardware and services to exciting programmes such as Artemis and Mars Sample Return, we are building Europe’s autonomy while also being a reliable partner.”
PARIS (ESA PR) — The test version of a unique satellite navigation receiver has been delivered for integration testing on the Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft. The NaviMoon satnav receiver is designed to perform the farthest ever positioning fix from Earth, employing signals that will be millions of times fainter than those used by our smartphones or cars.
“This engineering model of our NaviMoon receiver is the very first piece of hardware to be produced in the context of ESA’s Moonlight initiative, to develop dedicated telecommunications and navigation services for the Moon,” explains Javier Ventura-Traveset, Head of ESA’s Navigation Science Office and managing all ESA lunar navigation activities.
PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA is going to the Moon – in collaboration with its international partners – and seeks to build a lasting lunar link to enable sustainable space exploration.
The agency has now evaluated initial ideas to create a network of lunar telecommunications and navigation satellites.
Creating a commercial telecommunications and navigation service for the Moon will allow many of the dozens of planned lunar missions to share the same infrastructure to communicate with Earth, as well as to find their way on the lunar surface.
The service is needed because the planned missions are becoming regular trips to Earth’s natural satellite rather than one-off expeditions.
LONDON, September 15, 2021 (SSTL PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for communications services from Lunar Pathfinder, due to launch in 2024. The Commercial Lunar Mission Support Services contract was signed between ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration, Dave Parker, and SSTL’s Managing Director, Phil Brownnett, on 15 September 2021 at The Royal Society in London. Amanda Solloway, UK Government Science Minister, Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director General, Paul Bate, Director of the UK Space Agency, and SSTL’s Executive Chairman, Sir Martin Sweeting were also in attendance.
GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to lead a Phase A/B1 Study under ESA’s Moonlight initiative that will shape the service provision and infrastructure to provide sustainable commercial Lunar data-relay services for communication and navigation around the Moon.
The Moonlight Phase A/B1 Study will define the service infrastructure and clearly lay out the development path for a constellation of Lunar communication and navigation satellites. The Study will characterise the complete end to end system, including the Lunar Space Segment, the Moon Surface Segment, the Lunar User Segment and the Earth Ground Segment.
PARIS (ESA PR) — A bold proposal to create a commercially viable constellation of lunar satellites has taken a step closer.
Two consortia of companies will be supported by ESA to devise detailed definitions of how to provide telecommunications and navigation services for missions to the Moon, under the agency’s Moonlight initiative.
Such a lasting lunar link will enable sustainable space exploration.
ESA is going to the Moon together with its international partners including NASA.
Dozens of international, institutional and commercial teams are sending missions to the Moon that envisage a permanent lunar presence. These will become regular trips to Earth’s natural satellite rather than one-off expeditions
PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s Lunar Pathfinder mission to the Moon will carry an advanced satellite navigation receiver, in order to perform the first ever satnav positioning fix in lunar orbit. This experimental payload marks a preliminary step in an ambitious ESA plan to expand reliable satnav coverage – as well as communication links – to explorers around and ultimately on the Moon during this decade.
Lunar Pathfinder is a Commercial Lunar Mission Support Service to provide data services via S-band and UHF links to lunar assets, and an X-band link to Earth.
GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Following the European Space Agency Ministerial Council Space19+ meeting in Seville at which the UK Space Agency confirmed it will invest £374 million per year with ESA, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is pleased to announce the kick-off for the implementation phase of its Lunar data-relay spacecraft, Lunar Pathfinder.
WASHINGTON (ESA PR) — ESA and NASA reaffirmed their interest in working with commercial service providers as well as international partners on missions to the Moon in a joint statement signed at the 70th annual International Astronautical Congress last week.
The statement supports the ‘Lunar Pathfinder’ mission, ESA’s first Moon partnership with European industry, addressing communication and navigation needs for future lunar exploration.
Goonhilly to launch new services thanks to recent £32.4 million in investment and contract wins
Space and satellite industries, video service providers, enterprises and universities to benefit from new applications on Earth, in near space and deep space
Expansion plans include facilities in US and Australia to support deep space ambitions
Green data centre will offer co-location with satellite, sub-sea cable and fibre connectivity
CORNWALL, UK (Goonhilly Earth Station PR) — Satellite communications innovator and space gateway, Goonhilly Earth Station, today launched its roadmap and outlined developments which will galvanise its position in the satellite industry and place it firmly at the vanguard of the new space economy driven by private investment and solid growth performance. With the agility of a start-up yet with many science and technology firsts under its belt, this roadmap underpins the firm’s ambition to become a world-leading space connectivity nexus and centre of innovation.
GUILDFORD, UK (SSTL PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Goonhilly Earth Station Ltd (GES) have today announced a new partnership to go beyond Earth’s orbit and provide a new model of low cost, high value, space exploration and science. With the ultimate aim of supporting a Solar System network, the SSTL-GES Lunar Pathfinder mission and its successors will provide a system to transport payloads to the Moon together with communications links for these payloads and any other deployed assets back to the Earth.
The mission will support the international development and exploration of space, and the first mission will also provide a new opportunity to transport commercial payloads to lunar orbit. A call for flight opportunities for small lunar missions and payloads is now open and is hosted on a dedicated website www.goonhilly.org/lunar. The call targets the global space community from established space agencies, developing space nations, commercial entities, public and private organisations and universities.