Europe seeks to emulate NASA’s revolutionary business cargo program

A rendering of the European cargo reentry vehicle proposed by Thales Alenia Space.

Enlarge / A rendering of the European cargo reentry automobile proposed by Thales Alenia House. (credit score: Thales Alecia House)

The European House Company has awarded preliminary contracts to a German-based startup and one of many continent’s established aerospace firms to develop spacecraft to ferry cargo to and from area stations in low-Earth orbit.

ESA introduced the 2 25 million euro ($27 million) contracts Might 22. The Exploration Firm, co-located in France and Germany, and Thales Alenia House of Italy beat out 4 different firms within the competitors for ESA funding by the LEO Cargo Return Service program.

These contracts will run for 2 years, till June 2026. On this first section of this system, The Exploration Firm and Thales Alenia House will refine their ideas, mature applied sciences, and concentrate on necessities for his or her cargo autos. ESA plans to award contracts for the second section of the LEO Cargo Return Service program in 2026, eyeing a round-trip demonstration flight to the Worldwide House Station (ISS) in 2028.

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