The ESA-led competition, arranged on behalf of the European Commission, pits rising German manufacturer OHB against European heavyweights Thales Alenia Space and Airbus Defense and Space.
Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy won the largest share of prime contracts the European Space Agency awarded July 1 for further development of six new Copernicus satellite missions.
The European Space Agency on July 1 awarded 2.5 billion euros in development contracts for six new Earth-observation missions under the Copernicus remote-sensing satellite program.
German space company OHB is moving ahead with plans to launch a commercial lunar lander mission in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in late 2022 as it looks for government and commercial customers.
“While by no means immune from the broader economic downdraft, we nonetheless expect the Satellite & Space industry to fare somewhat better from a demand perspective than the economy-at-large,” the report said.
The slow-moving nature of spacecraft manufacturing will insulate OHB Systems, at least temporarily, from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a company executive.
Space hardware builders say they fully expect 3D printing to revolutionize manufacturing, but cautioned that the technology is sometimes promoted without a full understanding of its pros and cons.
Australian farmers are celebrating the start of less restrictive satellite internet from the country’s twin Sky Muster broadband satellites.
The Ariane 5 took off at 3:30 p.m. Eastern from Europe’s Guiana Space Center in South America, carrying the Intelsat-39 communications satellite and the EDRS-C laser relay satellite to geostationary transfer orbits.
The European Space Agency gave contracts to ArianeGroup and MT Aerospace on May 14 to develop a prototype upper stage that could lead to an advanced carbon-composite upgrade for the Ariane 6 rocket.
The Israeli company that built a privately funded lunar lander scheduled for launch next month is partnering with a German firm to offer similar landers for future European Space Agency missions.