Comex and Airbus join forces around a module of the future lunar station
COMEX joins AIRBUS in the development of ESPRIT the European Module of the lunar orbital space station GATEWAY
October 24th 2018, COMEX and AIRBUS signed a cooperation agreement to develop ESPRIT, one of the European modules of the GATEWAY, the future lunar space station.
The GATEWAY is the first step of human space exploration after the era of the International Space Station. It will be a basis for missions to the lunar surface by robotic vehicles and astronauts. Its assembly in lunar orbit is scheduled to start in 2023.
The GATEWAY is a planned lunar-orbit space station that will have a power and propulsion system, utilization and crew habitation modules with docking capability, scientific and extra-vehicular activity airlocks, and logistics modules. The development is led by the current International Space Station partnership: NASA, ESA, ROSCOSMOS, JAXA and CSA, for launch to the Moon in the 2020s.
AIRBUS is leading as prime one of the two parallel Phase A/B1 studies for the development of the ESPRIT module (European System Providing Refueling, Infrastructure and Telecommunications), in cooperation with COMEX S.A., Marseille and other European Partners. ESPRIT is a system, planned to be launched with the first Utilization Module (an US supplied pressurized module). It includes propellant (Xenon and Hydrazine) storage and refueling systems for the Power Propulsion Element (the first US element of the Gateway), communication systems with the Lunar base, interface points for external payloads and a scientific airlock.
COMEX joins AIRBUS in the development of this space module, by bringing in its engineering expertise and testing capabilities. The Marseille based company was a pioneer in the development of subsea systems and professional diving. Since 2012, COMEX has been actively involved in human space flight activity and stratospheric platforms.