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ESA, Gomspace Enter A Deal For Improvement In Smallsat Subsystems

European Space Agency has decided to fund a € 3,900,000 18-month long Science Program agreement with GomSpace for adapting and improving smallsat systems and subsystems for conducting deep space science missions.

The contract covers € 3,300,000 for GomSpace Denmark and another € 600,000 Euro for GomSpace Sweden.

Under the agreement, the involved space agencies have decided to conduct deep space scientific missions by launching nanosatellites for a number of years.

However, reservations prevail in different quarters regarding the reliability and the compatibility of these small satellites that are usually used for short-term performance and lifetime needs.

Under the agreement, GomSpace will look after the critical technology that will be required for the use of small satellites for long-term science missions. The first launch will be conducted, however, not before 2028. The immediate goal will be to design and conduct ground tests of various critical parameters and develop models at the subsystem levels for demonstration of technological readiness of TRL6.

Speaking about the agreement, GomSpace CEO, Niels Buus said that GomSpace has taken a significant step, and these deep space missions will encounter possibly the most hostile environment. Thus, their main objective will be to make the satellites hardy enough to adapt to those hostile conditions.

Deep space missions are needed to understand the derivation of our solar system and the planetary resources. ESA is working in close coordination with NASA and the International Space Community for designing and exploiting these futuristic missions.

Meanwhile Sky and Space Global and GomSpace have entered into a new 6U agreement regarding delivering 6U satellites that consists of two parts. As per an announcement made on April 8, 2019, by GomSpace, the new agreement is a deviation from the original Pearls Agreement that was penned in 2017.

The new agreement features delivery of 8 6U nanosats by Q1 of 2020 and another consignment of 8 satellites during the first half of 2020.

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