Announcement of Opportunity to Fly Payloads on ESA's Space Rider Reusable Space Transportation System
ESA's Space Rider aims to provide Europe with an affordable, independent, reusable end-to-end space transportation system integrated with Vega C,
for routine access and return from low Earth orbit. It is composed by two modules:
- the AOM (AVUM Orbital Module), a modified version of the Vega C Upper Stage;
- the RM (Re-entry Module), a modified version of the IXV demonstrator flown in 2015 integrating a MPCB (Multi-Purpose Cargo Bay) equipped with
standardized but customizable interfaces for the payloads, performing ground landing in European territory, being reusable following refurbishment after each flight.
It will provide a space laboratory to transport payloads into space for a variety of applications, orbit altitudes and inclinations, for missions lasting up to two months
or longer if needed. Among the multiple exploitation capabilities and potentials, the Space Rider missions will tackle:
- free-flying applications, such as experiments in advanced microgravity environment;
- in-orbit technology demonstration and validation for applications, such as:
. exploration, including robotics;
. Earth observation, including instrumentations;
. Earth science, telecommunication,
- surveillance applications, such as Earth disaster monitoring, satellites inspection.
After the payloads operations into space, with the End-Users Customers assisted by the Space Rider telemetry and command services enabling upload and download
commands and data at each orbital pass, Space Rider will deorbit with the payloads stowed in its cargo bay, and return to Earth to land on the ground.
With the objective to downselect End-Users Customers for the Space Rider missions and services, ESA has released a dedicated Announcement of Opportunity with no
restriction of nationality, interested in flying:
- Commercial Payloads;
- Payloads operated by or for the benefit of Institutional entities.
All information relevant to participate to the downselection process can be found in the following links:
Image credit: ESA