ESA awarded Badge of Honour at MAKS 2017
On 18-23 July, ESA took part in MAKS, the Russian International Aviation and Space Salon held in Zhukovsky, near Moscow. The Agency was awarded a Badge of Honour as part of the event’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
Since 1993, MAKS has become a major air show and an important networking event for the space industry. It is an opportunity to learn more about the progress Russia is making in space and aviation. This year’s MAKS attracted 450 000 visitors and 880 companies, including 180 non-Russian companies from 35 countries.
ESA's presence at MAKS 2017
Led by Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner, an ESA delegation attended MAKS to discuss cooperation with Roscosmos.
Speaking of the significance of ESA’s presence at MAKS, Mr Woerner said: "The relationship between ESA and Roscosmos is very fruitful and productive. And we are looking forward to closer cooperation with Russia on joint projects in low-Earth orbit and deep space exploration as well as our joint work on the International Space Station.
“We consider Russia and Roscosmos as a reliable partner, with whom we plan to cooperate in the years to come.”
Showcasing the Agency
ESA had a two-storey chalet at the show, with a floor area of 160 sq m and a patio facing the runway. The chalet was divided into a conference area, a presentation space and an exhibition floor.
The exhibition area showcased ESA programmes with Russian cooperation such as ExoMars with a 1:4 scale model of the ExoMars rover and the real mechanical model of one of its wheels borrowed from tests currently conducted at Lavochkin. Lunar cooperation , ESA’s current and future launcher family, BepiColombo and Sentinel 5P were also featured, together with an original space suit belonging to ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
The Agency gave a range of presentations covering ESA’s programmes in a global context, ESA-Russia cooperation highlights, ESA’s Exploration Programme, an ExoMars project status update and an ExoMars science overview. These presentations also addressed ESA-Roscosmos future cooperation on lunar exploration, the Copernicus Earth observation programme and the cooperation in the modernization of Russian Deep Space Antennas.
A long history of cooperation
Cooperation between ESA and Russia started in the 1990s with flights of ESA astronauts to the Russian MIR station. Many milestones followed, most notably the ATV programme and the Soyuz launcher at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
Currently, the ExoMars programme and cooperation within the framework of the International Space Station programme are the most prominent activities between ESA and Roscosmos.
ExoMars represents an unprecedented level of interdependence between the two partners. Russia has delivered the Proton launcher and two out of four science instruments for the 2016 mission. For the 2020 mission Russia will develop, manufacture and test the Descent Module, which contains hardware and software provided by ESA. In addition, Russia will provide two science instruments for the ExoMars rover, and science instruments for the surface platform (the remaining part of the Descent Module) have been selected through a joint Announcement of Opportunity.
Major cooperation highlights are the long-term missions of ESA astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS), most recently Thomas Pesquet’s Proxima mission and Paolo Nespoli’s Vita mission. Thomas returned to Earth on 2 June 2017 after spending 196 days in space, while Paolo will be launched to the ISS on 28 July 2017.
ESA will also contribute to the planned Russian Luna-Glob and Luna-Resurs lander missions.