NOORDWIJK/NETHERLANDS ­– The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus have signed a commercial partnership (PPP) agreement for construction, launch and operations of the commercial “Bartolomeo” platform. Airbus’ new external payload hosting facility will be attached to the European Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS) from mid-2019.

 

The agreement defines the roles and responsibilities of the two PPP partners, with Airbus investing around €40 million into the development, construction and launch of this innovative platform, and ESA providing Bartolomeo’s installation on the ISS. Bartolomeo will be launched in the unpressurized compartment of an ISS supply vehicle and installed using the ISS robotics system and an extra-vehicular activity. Airbus is then responsible for platform operations and payload integration.

 

These new, commercially available opportunities are open to users world-wide, coming from areas including Earth observation, technology demonstrators, astro- and heliophysics, material science, new space flight applications and commercial missions.