ESA lunar exploration
The European Space Agency has signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to be the anchor customer on a commercial lunar communications satellite that company is developing.
While NASA and the European Space Agency hailed an agreement this week to work together on the lunar Gateway, both agencies have work ahead to establish international cooperation on the overall Artemis program of human lunar exploration.
The spacecraft, a landing technology demonstrator, flew to Mars on the ExoMars 2016 mission, but crashed when it prematurely shut down its thrusters.
The European Space Agency’s penchant for a major lunar exploration program that would precede a full-scale exploration of Mars was fully in evidence on July 12 with the signing of a contract to put an ESA drill on Russia’s Luna-Resurs lunar lander.