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M-Argo will be the first nanosatellite ever to rendezvous with an asteroid and perform close proximity operations over an extended period for identification of in-situ resources. The MiniaturisedAsteroidRemote GeophysicalObserver (M-ARGO) mission will be a standalone nanosatellite, meaning it will have all of the fuel, propulsion systems and thrusters to complete its journey on board. The study, which began life in ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility, hopes to launch in 2023.
“M-ARGO needs to be robust enough to survive three years of travelling in deep space,” explains Kenza Benamar, who manages the GSTP Fly element. “Three years of the harshest conditions before arriving and all of the instruments still having to work. It’s incredibly technically challenging, which is why we’re integrating the absolute latest technology developments.”
The contract is funded through the Fly element of ESA’s General Support Technology Programme.