ESA paves way for new space transport services | 12/25/2018 | Staff
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Imagine moving satellites to higher orbits, collecting space debris, and dedicated launches for small satellites. These are the winning entries of ESA's call for ideas on new commercial space transportation services.

This campaign aimed to foster open innovation and offer encouragement to those with new ideas within the privately-funded space sector.

ESA - Insight - Space - Transportation - Proposals

It has given ESA a valuable insight into commercial space transportation proposals in Europe which will guide decisions on future space transportation programmes when the ESA Council at Ministerial Level meet at Space19+.

All entries are receiving feedback from ESA's panel of experts. One top-ranking idea was chosen from each category: In-orbit services, Return from orbit, and Light satellite access to space.

Entry - Category - Services - Concept - SpaceTug

The winning entry in the category 'In-orbit services', is the concept of a SpaceTug to offer orbit-raising services to satellite customers via electric propulsion.

It is envisioned that projects like SpaceTug would be the vanguard of a new industry aimed at providing on-orbit servicing to existing or future spacecraft. Greater mobility and flexibility in the use of space assets, and extending the life of satellites would bring widespread benefits to all of Europe's space industry.

Engineers - ISAE - Supaero - University - Toulouse

Six French post-graduate engineers from the ISAE Supaero technical university in Toulouse developed this idea. Their business and private funding plan will now be further developed, as well as the project organisation and possible partners.

In the category 'Return from orbit', a multi-target end-of-life space...
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