Airbus‘ defense and space business unit has signed an initial payload agreement with Neumann Space to develop a future Bartolomeo platform for International Space Station.
Airbus said Thursday the Bartolomeo platform will give private and institutional users access to the ISS on commercial terms with a payload mission service designed to support clients in areas such as Earth observation, technology demonstrators, material science and space flight applications.
Bart Reihnen, head of on-orbit services and exploration at Airbus’ defense and space segment, said the ISS balcony will work to act as a means to perform a low-Earth orbit space mission and also test and validate new technology in orbit.
Neumann Space will allocate more than 50 liters of payload space on Bartolomeo for the Facility for Australian Space Testing program that Patrick Neumann, Neumann Space chief scientist and co-founder, refers to as a platform for in-orbit demonstration of technology for small and medium enterprises.
The Bartolomeo payload is scheduled to launch in late 2018 and Neumann space is currently working on a follow-up payload that includes the possibility of the return of some elements to Earth at the completion of the mission.