Pioneering agreement to grow public and private lunar ecosystems: Communications to reach the far side of the Moon
April 17, 2018 - Colorado Springs, USA, Cornwall/Guildford, UK - Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL), Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) and Astrobotic today announce an agreement to collaborate on delivering a roadmap of innovations that support organisations carrying out operations on and around the Moon.
The trio jointly announced their landmark partnership at the 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. The agreement formalises a long-term close working relationship between the three organisations with the aim of deploying leading edge in-space communication relay services.
The world’s leading lunar logistics company, Astrobotic, will begin delivering a regular manifest of uncrewed payload flights to the Moon starting in 2020. Many of the companies, governments, universities, and other non-profit organisations operating payloads on Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lander will need sophisticated communication relay services to reach until-now prohibitive destinations on the Moon, including the ‘far side’. SSTL plans to service those needs with state-of-the-art data relay services. Goonhilly Earth Station will receive SSTL’s data relay and transmit data back to payload customers on Earth.
“Working with SSTL and Goonhilly to provide our payload customers with communication services anywhere on the lunar surface is perfectly aligned with our customer-centric approach,” said John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic. “SSTL is a proven spaceflight pioneer, and we’re thrilled they’re choosing to partner with Astrobotic to help make their lunar plans a reality.”
“The complementary capabilities of Astrobotic, Goonhilly and SSTL allow us to provide a complete mission package that supports and enables a diversity of lunar endeavours, both for commerce and public sector initiatives,” commented Anita Bernie, Director of Exploration Missions at SSTL.
“The solutions resulting from this partnership will underpin the development of commercial as well as space-agency operations on and around the Moon,” said Ian Jones, CEO of GES. “We are confident that with our combined expertise, resources, and vision, together we will perform a pivotal role in enabling organisations of all kinds to benefit from the opportunities in space and on the Moon.”