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ESA AND AIRBUS SIGN CONTRACT FOR ISS EXTERNAL PAYLOAD HOSTING PLATFORM
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

Airbus will deploy an external payload module on the ISS

Source: NASA


Airbus will deploy an external payload module on the ISS

Source: NASA


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NOORDWIJK, Netherlands -- The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus have signed a commercial partnership (PPP) agreement for construction, launch and operations of the "Bartolomeo" platform. The platform has recently passed the preliminary design review and is on track for launch in May 2019. Airbus' commercial external payload hosting facility will be attached to the European Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS).

The agreement defines the roles and responsibilities of the two PPP partners, with Airbus investing around EUR40 million ($48.9 million) into the development, construction and launch of the platform, and ESA providing Bartolomeo’s installation on the ISS. Bartolomeo will be launched in the unpressurized compartment of an ISS supply vehicle and installed using the ISS robotics system and a spacewalk. Airbus is then responsible for platform operations and payload integration.

Named after the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, the Bartolomeo platform will offer 12 payload slots on the outside of the Columbus module. The platform will be available commercially and will be open to users world-wide. Payloads that may be hosted on the platform include Earth observation, technology demonstrators, astro- and heliophysics, material science, new space flight applications, and commercial missions.

The ISS has become an ideal spot to host platforms for commercial companies and government agencies. NanoRacks is the first company to deploy a payload hosting module on the ISS. The company also deploys small satellites from a deployer on the ISS. The new Bartolomeo platform will be able to host payloads that weigh up to 125 kilograms and have a volume of 0.5 meters cubed.

Source:  Airbus
Associated URL: http://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-releases/en/2018/02/bartolomeo.html
Source Date: February 8, 2018
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 02/09/2018

 

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