Children born before the first flight of the Wright brothers lived to see the first Moon landing, over 380 000 km from Earth.
From that historic first powered flight arose a multi-billion euro aviation sector that touches all our lives. Today’s space sector looks ready to chart a similar trajectory, as it opens up to commercial activity and private investment. ESA, tasked with growing and supporting European businesses, welcomes this development.
The Agency is therefore offering feedback on sound concepts for new commercial space transportation services. Up to three outstanding entries received before 14 September will win a trip to Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana to see a launch.
Space- and non-space-based companies, start-ups, individuals, universities and institutions, are encouraged to send in their ideas, which ESA can then help to develop further.
Ideas could include low-cost access to space for light satellites to low Earth orbit; transportation for exploration missions; and Earth–Moon cargo supply services, space logistics or in-orbit servicing.
Ideas should complement existing ESA space transportation programmes and activities.
Submitted ideas can be at any level of technical maturity, but are expected to have a long-term vision to provide a commercial service, showing a high potential for return on investment and with a financing scheme based on private investments.
“Along with the new space era of increasing private stakes in space, ESA’s early understanding and involvement in emerging space transportation services in Europe will help us spur the environment that supports long-term success, growth and competitiveness,” commented Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA’s Director of Space Transportation.
For further information related to this announcement of opportunity, click here.