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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  ESA contributions to NASA Artemis missions

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Author Topic:   ESA contributions to NASA Artemis missions
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 10-27-2020 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency (ESA) release
Positive signs for Europe as ESA goes forward to the Moon

ESA Director General Jan Wörner and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to take Europe to the Moon.

The historic agreement will see ESA Member States contribute a number of essential elements to the first human outpost in lunar orbit, known as the Gateway.

Above: Gateway concept with ESA contributions. (ESA)

It confirms ESA's commitment to delivering at least two European Service Modules that provide electricity, water, oxygen and nitrogen to NASA's Orion spacecraft – with more to come. ESA will also receive three flight opportunities for European astronauts to travel to and work on the Gateway.

The Gateway will enable sustainable exploration around – and on – the Moon, while enabling research and demonstrating the technologies and processes necessary to conduct a future mission to Mars. ESA's contribution to this international endeavor under the MoU includes building the main habitat for astronauts when they visit the Gateway, known as I-Hab.

A second contribution called ESPRIT, will supply enhanced communications, refueling capability and a window, similar to the European-built Cupola observatory on the International Space Station. This is consistent with what was approved by Member States at ESA's Space19+ Ministerial Council, in Seville, Spain, last year.

Above: Subjects test a concept for the scientific airlock which will form part of Europe's ESPRIT module for the Gateway – a new habitable outpost near the Moon. Testing underwater enables the team to recreate the weightlessness of space. (ESA/Arnauld Probs)

Though the MoU was signed remotely because of COVID-19 restrictions, ESA Director General Jan Wörner says ESA's involvement with NASA's Artemis program has been many years in the making.

"Throughout 20 years of continuous human presence on the International Space Station, we have seen an unparalleled level of cooperation between nations. Sustainable space exploration requires coordinated, international efforts and Europe has proven itself a strong and reliable partner," he explains.

"This MoU marks a critical point in Europe's trajectory: it confirms we are going forward to the Moon, not just in terms of equipment and technology, but also with our people. Europe will play a central role in the new era of global space exploration along with NASA and our partners, delivering exemplary, game-changing architectures to explore the Moon and Mars and inspiring generations to come."

This sentiment is echoed by ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker. "ESA is honored to be a strong partner of NASA for Artemis, extending the Space Station partnership forward to the Moon," he says.

"Every launch of astronauts to the Moon aboard the new Orion spaceship will rely on the European Service Module for power, propulsion, oxygen and water. Europe will provide crew accommodation, telecommunications, refueling and an amazing view of the Moon thanks to the ESA contributions to the lunar Gateway. And what is more, European astronauts will fly to the Gateway to live and work in deep space for the first time.

This landmark signature was underlined by Marco Ferrazzani, Head of ESA Legal Services and the Agency's lead negotiator for this MoU.

"This signature establishes the agreement between NASA and ESA of a genuine partnership for cooperation on a civil human outpost in the lunar vicinity, building on the wealth of experience gained through long cooperation together. For our future role in exploration it will have the same magnitude as the MoU for the International Space Station.

"The negotiation was supported by the tireless work of ESA Member States who, as with the International Space Station, collectively resolved to form a single European partner allowing for the start of this European endeavour in lunar exploration."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 48529
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-27-2020 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA, European Space Agency Formalize Artemis Gateway Partnership

NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) have finalized an agreement to collaborate on the Artemis Gateway. This agreement is an important element in a broad effort by the United States to engage international partners in sustainable lunar exploration and to demonstrate technologies necessary for a future human mission to Mars. The agreement, signed Tuesday (Oct. 27), marks NASA's first formal commitment to launch international crew members to the lunar vicinity as part of NASA's Artemis missions.

The agreement is a critical part of NASA's efforts to lead an unprecedented global coalition to the Moon. Additional Gateway agreements with other international partners will be executed in the near future, further contributing to the creation of a dynamic and sustainable lunar exploration architecture.

Under this agreement, ESA will contribute habitation and refueling modules, along with enhanced lunar communications, to the Gateway. The refueling module also will include crew observation windows. In addition to providing the hardware, ESA will be responsible for operations of the Gateway elements it provides. ESA also provides two additional European Service Modules (ESMs) for NASA's Orion spacecraft. These ESMs will propel and power Orion in space on future Artemis missions and provide air and water for its crew.

"This partnership leverages the outstanding cooperation established by the International Space Station as we push forward to the Moon," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "Gateway will continue to expand NASA's cooperation with international partners like ESA, ensuring the Artemis program results in the safe and sustainable exploration of the Moon after the initial human lunar landing and beyond."

The International Habitation module (I-Hab) includes components Japan intends to contribute and two docking ports where human landing systems can aggregate. The habitation module also will house the outpost's Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), contain accommodations for internal and external science experiments, and provide additional crew work and living space. I-Hab's ECLSS will augment Gateway's life support system capabilities provided by the docked Orion, enabling longer durations at the Gateway and support more robust Artemis missions to the lunar surface.

"The Gateway is designed to be supplemented by additional capabilities provided by our international partners to support sustainable exploration," said Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. "Gateway is going to give us access to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and we're pleased that partners like ESA will join us on these groundbreaking efforts."

The Gateway will be assembled in orbit around the Moon as a staging point and enabling platform for missions to the lunar surface, Mars, and other deep space destinations. Approximately one-sixth the size of the International Space Station, the Gateway will function as a way station located tens of thousands of miles from the lunar surface, in a Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit, from which NASA and its international and commercial partners will be able to springboard robotic and human expeditions to and around the Moon and on to Mars. It will serve as a rendezvous point for astronauts traveling to lunar orbit aboard NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion prior to transit to low-lunar orbit and the surface of the Moon.

"Gateway is the physical manifestation of the international and commercial partnerships that will be the hallmark of the Artemis era of exploration," said Mike Gold, NASA acting associate administrator for the Office of International and Interagency Relations at NASA Headquarters. "Artemis will harness the largest and most diverse human space exploration coalition in history, and the signing of this MOU is the first step in what will be a historic journey of discovery."

Along with procuring commercial services to deliver NASA astronauts to the final leg of the journey to the lunar surface, NASA has contracted with U.S. industry to develop the first two Gateway components, the integrated Power and Propulsion Element and the Habitation and Logistics Outpost, as well as the logistics resupply for Gateway.

In March, the first two scientific investigations to fly aboard the Gateway were selected, one from NASA and the other from ESA. ESA developed the European Radiation Sensors Array, or ERSA, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is building the Heliophysics Environmental and Radiation Measurement Experiment Suite, or HERMES. The two mini weather stations will split up the work, with ERSA monitoring space radiation at higher energies with a focus on astronaut protection, while HERMES monitors lower energies critical to scientific investigations of the Sun.

All of Gateway's international partners will collaborate to share the scientific data that will be transmitted to Earth. Additional scientific cooperative payloads will be selected to fly aboard the Gateway in the future.

"Science will play a critical role in the Artemis program," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Between NASA's HERMES and ESA's ERSA, these and future payloads on the Gateway will help us learn more about space weather and protecting astronauts even as our work to land commercial payloads on the Moon helps advance lunar science and human exploration on the surface of the Moon."

In addition to supporting lunar surface missions, the Gateway will support activities that will test technologies needed for human missions to Mars. Using the Gateway, NASA will demonstrate remote management and long-term reliability of autonomous spacecraft systems and other technologies.

"The Gateway will enable sustained Artemis operations while also serving as a catalyst for research and demonstrating new technologies, taking advantage of the unique environment in lunar orbit," said Dan Hartman, Gateway program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "ESA's impactful contribution will enable longer crew duration stays around the Moon and provide unique capabilities necessary to support its operations."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 48529
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-15-2022 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA, ESA Finalize Agreements on Climate, Artemis Cooperation

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and ESA (European Space Agency) Director General Josef Aschbacher signed two agreements Wednesday (June 15) at the ESA Council meeting in Noordwijk, Netherlands, further advancing the space agencies' cooperation on Earth science and Artemis missions.

"With these two agreements, NASA and ESA are strengthening the relationship on two of our agencies' primary mission areas: Artemis and Earth science," said Nelson. "ESA's Lunar Pathfinder mission is critical to advancing the communications infrastructure needed at the Moon for a long-term human presence. And with the United States and Europe providing more than 70% of the world's Earth science data, that agreement will set the standard for future international collaboration at a time when we need global collaboration most to tackle the climate crisis."

"When it comes to global challenges such as the climate crisis, we each have our role to play," said Aschbacher, "but it's only by joining forces that we can achieve more. With leadership on both sides of the Atlantic more committed to tackle this than ever, ESA and NASA have a historic chance to further make space an integral part of the solution when it comes to climate change mitigation."

"I am delighted to see this next step in the cooperation between ESA, NASA and UK industry," said UK Space Agency Chief Executive Paul Bate. "Space is an essential growth area of the UK economy, and it is exciting to see this now extending even to the Moon!"

The Earth science agreement builds on the joint statement of intent Nelson and Aschbacher signed in July 2021. The agreement outlines how the agencies will collaborate to ensure continuity of Earth observations; advance understanding of the Earth System, climate change and application of that knowledge; and collaborate on an open data policy that promotes open sharing of data, information, and knowledge within the scientific community and the wider public.

The Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation on the Lunar Pathfinder mission and access to lunar communication services is part of an overall lunar communications architecture. NASA is planning to arrange for the delivery of ESA's Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft to lunar orbit via a Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) delivery, and the Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft is expected to orbit the Moon and provide lunar communication services for assets on the lunar surface. NASA will award a task order after issuing a competitive request for task plans to its domestic lunar service providers in the CLPS vendor pool. ESA is working with the UK-based company Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. on the development of Lunar Pathfinder. Lunar Pathfinder is designed to offer S-band and Ultra-High Frequency channels for communications with lunar assets, and communications will be relayed back to Earth ground station(s) in X-band frequencies.

NASA works collaboratively with ESA on a variety of missions, including as a key partner on Gateway with I-Hab, Esprit, and the Sentinel-6 series that makes critical global sea level measurements. Currently, NASA has more than 600 active international agreements with organizations and space agencies around the world. NASA is collaborating with commercial and international partners on Artemis as we work to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and establish the first long-term human presence at the Moon.

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