OHB and IAI Team in Proposing Lunar Surface Access Service to the European Space Agency

  • Collaboration to be managed by OHB System AG, a leading German satellite manufacturer
  • IAI to deliver a lunar lander based on the engineering knowhow accumulated in the development of SpaceIL lunar lander

Jan Wörner, Director General of ESA, Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund, chair of DLR, Marco Fuchs, CEO of OHB SE, Opher Doron, General Manager of IAI’s Space Division, Avi Blasberger, director general of Israel Space Agency, Morris Kahn, President SpaceIL

OHB System AG, a leading German manufacturer of satellites and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), signed a teaming agreement on January 29, 2019 at the Ilan Ramon Space Conference. Under the agreement, the companies will offer a commercial Lunar Surface Access Service (LSAS) for payloads up to 150 kg to the European Space Agency (ESA). The TA was signed by Marco Fuchs, Chief Executive Officer of OHB SE and OHB System AG and Opher Doron, General Manager of IAI’s Space Division. The signing ceremony was attended by Johann-Dietrich Wörner, director general of ESA, Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund, chair of the Executive Board of the German Space Agency DLR and Avi Blasberger, Director General of Israel Space Agency.

Under the agreement between the companies, OHB System AG, based on its long successful heritage in space missions, will act as prime contractor and will manage the work with ESA and the developers of scientific payloads for the lunar lander. IAI, for its part, shall provide a version of its lunar lander which was co-developed and built for SpaceIL; flight-ready and preparing to launch next month from the US.

OHB will manage the service commercialization and mission definition with prospective users; and manage the project and mission from payload choice and integration to launch and mission operations. As an outlook also a support on the lunar lander is envisaged. IAI will build the lander, accommodate payloads, integrate with launcher, support the LEOP & decommissioning and provide technical support in all mission phases from design, payload integration, launch and mission operations.

ESA’s ISRU initiative – In-Situ Resource Utilization – will involve landing landers on the moon to test technologies for producing oxygen, water and other raw materials from lunar soil as well as collect and analyze samples of the moon’s earth. These technologies are needed for long-term human colonization outside Planet Earth.

“Exploring the moon and using it as a base is a logical next step for me that offers many advantages and opportunities. Landing on the surface of the moon, however, is still a challenge. At OHB we have carried out several technology studies on landing, using Moon resources e.g. for fuel, oxygen or water production, and on robotics. We also have a vast amount of experience in managing and accommodating very diverse payloads on spacecraft. I look very much forward to bringing the OHB expertise into cooperation with IAI and to jointly tackling the challenges posed by future Moon programs”, said Marco Fuchs CEO of OHB SE and OHB System AG.

Nimrod Sheffer, IAI CEO and President said, “IAI is proud to collaborate with a global satellite leader as well as with Europe’s and Germany’s space agencies. This is a badge of honor for the Israeli space industry. The technological knowhow acquired in the development and manufacturing of “Beresheet” lunar lander with SpaceIL and the teaming with OHB allow us to partake in the advanced global research of outer space. We are proud of the opportunity to take the Israeli space industry to new frontiers and look forward to Beresheet’s launch and journey to the moon next month.”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General European Space Agency said, “Another brick stone for the Moon Village…excellent!”

Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund, chair of the Executive Board of the German Space Agency DLR, said,: “The German Aerospace Center appreciates the OHB IAI cooperation in the endeavor for lunar missions”

Avi Blasberger, Director of Israel Space Agency, said, “We welcome agreements that promote the Israeli space industry. The Israeli Lander to the moon has significant commercial potential”.