European Space Agency Taps Thales Alenia Space for ExoMars 2020 Mission Support Contract

The European Space Agency has partnered with Thales Alenia Space to carry out the final stage of activities for the ExoMars 2020 — a joint mission of ESA and its Russian counterpart to explore life on Mars.

Thales Alenia Space will design the ExoMars mission and lead a European industrial consortium under a contract with ESA, Thales said Friday.

The ExoMars 2020 spacecraft consists of a carrier module, a descent module and a rover onboard a landing platform designed to navigate the planet’s surface for nearly 230 days.

Thales Alenia Space will perform final inspection and develop the carrier module navigation, guidance system, descent module entry and the descent and landing system.

The company will also create the Analytical Laboratory Drawer and provide basic parts of the DM such as the radar altimeter, and OHB will build the CM and several instruments of the Airbus-developed rover.

“The steadfastness and tenacity of both the European and Italian space agencies has reassured all program partners, and enabled us to continue our production work so we can go ahead with this new and very complex mission,” said Donato Amoroso, deputy CEO of Thales Alenia Space.

The critical design review for the 2020 mission is scheduled to complete by the end of 2017 and parts of the DM are slated for delivery in early 2018.

ExoMars 2020 is set to launch between July 25 and August 13, 2020.

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