[Via Satellite 09-17-2015] The European Space Agency (ESA), the French space agency CNES, and Thales Alenia Space have signed the C/D phase contract for Neosat, enabling the full development and qualification of the next generation satellite platform product line, Spacebus Neo. ESA and CNES are jointly managing the Neosat program, which aims to create 3 to 6 ton telecommunications satellites.
The goal is to reduce the cost of a satellite in orbit by 30 percent compared with today’s designs by the end of the decade, and for European satellite builders to capture at least half of the world’s satcom market in the years to come.
Spacebus Neo will support hybrid and fully electric propulsion, advanced thermal control techniques for efficient heat removal, and a new solar array with latest-generation European solar cells, batteries, and an advanced power distribution system. The platform will also feature a highly modular design.
Thales Alenia Space has set up industrial consortia across Europe; including France, Italy, the U.K., Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Romania, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland and Portugal to develop and supply building blocks for the new product line.
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