24 October 2019 – The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space today signed a Statement of Intent on their common interest to use the Bartolomeo external platform for a limited number of scientific missions on the International Space Station (ISS).
ESA appreciates Airbus’ efforts to initiate commercial utilization of the Bartolomeo platform and recognizes the investment that has been made in developing the Bartolomeo system and its Bartolomeo All-in-One Space Mission Service on the basis of the Partnership Agreement signed with ESA in February 2018. Airbus appreciates the support and guidance provided by ESA in the process and is excited about the increasing interest of European customers.
ESA recognises that Bartolomeo is an attractive and competitive space platform solution and has substantial interest from its Member States as well as ESA scientific communities. Apart from the accommodation of the Multi-Needle Langmuir Probe (m-NLP) payload, ESA is looking to realise further missions starting with its:
- Exobiology Platform requiring a Single Slot with Zenith orientation and a return of the biologic samples through a payload airlock
- SESAME material exposure payload from the French Space Agency CNES with several campaigns and sample returns.
In order to simplify the contracting process for all scientific ESA missions on Bartolomeo, ESA and Airbus are currently preparing a framework agreement which both partners agree to sign in November 2019.