Darmstadt, 13 November 2013
Telespazio VEGA Deutschland, a subsidiary of Telespazio (Finmeccanica/Thales), has increased its involvement in the ExoMars mission. The company has been awarded a further Work Order by the European Space Agency (ESA) under the Ground Data Systems Frame Contract (GFC8). Following the recent contract for the ExoMars Mission Control System (MCS), Telespazio VEGA Deutschland has now been selected to develop the Operational Simulator for the ExoMars 2016 mission. The 2016 mission consists of a Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstration Module (EDM).
The ExoMars Simulator development, worth over a million Euros, started in July 2013 and will be completed within two years. The simulator will support the operations team in the testing of the ExoMars ground infrastructure, including the Mission Control System, and validation of the operational procedures and databases. Towards the launch of the mission in 2016, the simulator will serve to train the Flight Control Team through an intensive simulation campaign at ESA’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt (Germany).
Telespazio VEGA Deutschland has a strong heritage in providing ground segment systems, especially for complex exploration or science missions, such as XMM Newton, Rosetta, Mars Express, Venus Express, Lisa Pathfinder, BepiColombo, and now ExoMars.
John Lewis, Director Sales & Business Development stated: “The two ExoMars Ground Segment System contracts, namely the Mission Control System and the Operational Simulator, require a very thorough understanding of complex space programs as well as the ability to develop highly reliable software systems under tight schedule constraints. We have proved many times that we possess both these capabilities, and we are delighted that ESA has entrusted us to deliver these essential elements of the ExoMars ground segment system”.
ExoMars is an exciting Mars exploration programme made possible by a large international cooperation with Roscosmos. The prime contractor responsible for the ExoMars spacecraft in Europe is Thales Alenia Space (a Thales/Finmeccanica company). The first phase of the programme involves a Mars Trace Gas Orbiter satellite to be launched in 2016 that includes an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstration Module. In a second phase, to be launched in 2018, a Mars Rover and a Surface Platform will be launched building on the experience gained through these first steps. The 2018 ExoMars rover is designed to search for traces of past and present life by collecting and analysing sub-soil samples with a drill and a powerful set of instruments. ExoMars will demonstrate new technologies that will help to pave the way for a future Mars sample return mission.
Telespazio VEGA Deutschland, is part of Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales 67/33 joint venture, that is one of the world’s leading operators in satellite services with activities range from the design and development of space systems to the management of launch services, from in-orbit satellite control to Earth observation, from integrated communications, satellite navigation and localisation services to scientific programmes. Telespazio VEGA Deutschland was created in 2012 from the merger of VEGA Space, established in 1978, and Telespazio Deutschland, founded in 1996. It combines the expertise and know-how acquired within the space services sector by the two companies, Telespazio VEGA Deutschland’s objective is to strengthen the Telespazio Group’s presence in Germany.
Photo: Copyright ESA