All-in-one service for the Space Station
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Feb 12, 2018
Quick access to space, high-speed data feed and a unique vantage point are the selling points of a new commercial venture on the International Space Station. Its name is Bartolomeo, and its versatile design allows for many mission types at competitive prices from next year.
The Space Station has been growing in size during the past 20 years, and so have the number of platforms dedicated to science in orbit. However, researchers and engineers are finding it harder to acquire slots for their experiments.
A decade after its launch, Europe's Columbus laboratory makes room on the outside to a new platform that offers an affordable, quick and easy access to space.
Earth observation and telecommunications, exobiology and space weather research are areas of great demand that will benefit.
The Bartolomeo All-in-one Mission Service will provide end-to-end access for external payloads on the Station. It provides unobstructed view of Earth, direct control of the experiments from the ground and the possibility of retrieving samples.
Today, ESA and Airbus Defence and Space signed a commercial partnership that will make Bartolomeo a reality next year. While the European company funds the development and promotes commercialisation, ESA will support the launch, installation and operations.
This is the first time that a European commercial partnership is offering the opportunity to carry out science and demonstrate technology outside the Station.
Out of the box
The formula for payload size is flexible. Users can squeeze in as little as 5 kg by sharing the ride with other experiments, or have an entire slot of up to 450 kg at their disposal.
Bartolomeo offers 11 slots, and the waiting time from the moment a contract is signed and the 'go for flight' is one to two years - much shorter than the standard timeframe for experiments. The rental agreement in space is for a minimum of one year.
Bartolomeo is set for launch in 2019 on a SpaceX Dragon cargo ferry.
NanoRacks adds Thales Alenia Space to team up on Commercial Space Station Airlock Module
Turin, Italy (SPX) Feb 07, 2018
NanoRacks reports that Thales Alenia Space has been chosen as the latest partner in its commercial airlock program. Thales Alenia Space will produce and test the critical pressure shell for NanoRacks' Airlock Module, which is targeting to be launched to the International Space Station late 2019, and will be used to deploy commercial and government payloads. Thales Alenia Space will also manufacture various secondary structures, including the Micrometeoroid Orbital Debris (MMOD) shields with Multi- ... read more
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