Press releases

A first step to make a dream – the exploration of the Moon comes true

Press releases

A first step to make a dream – the exploration of the Moon comes true

Available in

    Thales Alenia Space will lead studies for two European elements of the Lunar Orbital Platform – Gateway

    Cannes, September 4, 2018 - Thales Alenia Space, joint venture between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%, announced today to have signed contracts with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Phase A/B1 studies of two elements of LOP-G (Lunar Orbital Platform - Gateway), formerly known as the Deep Space Gateway.

    The Gateway is a planned lunar-orbit infrastructure, that will have a power and propulsion system, utilization and crew habitation modules with docking capability, scientific and EVA airlocks, and logistics modules. The development is led by the current International Space Station partnership: NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, JAXA and CSA, for construction in the 2020s.
    Thales Alenia Space will lead as prime one of the parallel studies for ESPRIT (European System Providing Refuelling, Infrastructure and Telecommunications) with OHB as major subcontractor and for I–HAB (International – Habitat).

    • The I-HAB is a pressurized element with habitability and life support functions, implementing docking capabilities to provide interfaces and resources to visiting vehicles. Leveraging on Thales Alenia Space highly significant heritage and know-how accumulated in the development of the ISS pressurized elements, and relying on new processes and technologies, the I-HAB will represent the evolution of the ISS elements to a new generation of modules for deep space exploration, capable of meeting requirements for lighter structures, enhanced functional and avionic architecture, efficient thermal control means, innovative packaging and accommodation solutions promoting more comfortable habitable interiors. In this exercise, Thales Alenia Space will technically lead a skilled team of other European companies supporting several technical areas, by that ensuring a key positioning role for Europe in the Gateway development.
    • ESPRIT is a system, planned to be launched with the first Utilization Module (a US supplied pressurized expansion module). ESPRIT includes propellant (Xenon and Hydrazine) storage and refueling systems for the Power Propulsion Element (the first USA element of the gateway), communication systems with the moon, interface points for external payloads and a scientific airlock.

    Thanks to these contracts Thales Alenia Space will bring its expertise to cooperate in expanding the frontiers of knowledge, capability and opportunities in the vicinity of the moon, at the same time paving the way for the preparation of the future human missions to deep space and Mars. It is an important success that confirms the primary role of Thales Alenia Space in this very exciting adventure to make the space exploration dream come true. Thales Alenia Space aims at a similarly large involvement in the construction of these two ESA elements, when the ESA Member States approve the programme in the end 2019 Ministerial Conference.

    Technical details :

    Phase A/B1: entails the identification of a feasible mission design, the definition of a baseline for the spacecraft and its subsystems including the interfaces with the payload, the evaluation of the achievable scientific performance supported by extensive analyses and the definition of the development.

    The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G): The station will function as a test - base for the long-term environmental system that will eventually keep astronauts alive on a long voyage. It will also serve as a launch point for future missions to land on the moon, rendezvous with asteroids and eventually manned missions to Mars. After the first element will be placed in cislunar orbit, the subsequent ones are planned to be launched as part of the Space Launch System (SLS) launches in co-manifest with the manned Orion capsule.

    Photo: © ESA/Thomas Pesquet

    About Thales Alenia Space
    Combining 40 years of experience and a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space architects design and deliver high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments, institutions and companies rely on Thales Alenia Space to design, operate and deliver satellite-based systems that help them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help observe our planet, help optimize the use of our planet's – and our solar system’s – resources. Thales Alenia Space believes in space as humankind’s new horizon, which will enable to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of about 2.6 billion euros in 2017 and has 7,980 employees in nine countries.

    Thales Alenia Space – Press Contacts:
    Sandrine Bielecki
    Phone: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94

    Chrystelle Dugimont
    Phone: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06
    Cinzia Marcanio
    Tel: +39 06 41512685