In order to ensure a sound and low-cost solution, the project leverages on the previous developments carried out for the last 6 years within the Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) on Space Robotics technologies, particularly in continuity of the past project EROSS and EROSS+.
The final aim of the EROSS IOD project is to prepare and carry out the last remaining steps to fly a European pioneering mission by 2026 with a customer-driven approach.
Horizon Europe, Funding No 101082464
Access to Space is now easier and easier, and is not possible anymore to design and launch disposable spacecraft without considering the consequences: On-Orbit Servicing (OOS) is a first step towards this change of paradigm, as the technologies, typically autonomous rendezvous, refuelling, Orbital Replaceable Unit (ORU) exchange, repair and waste management with autonomous robotic tools will be used in future smart, flexible and modular space infrastructures. The growing demand for satellite life extension from commercial customers, making OOS an emerging market, is an opportunity to support those developments.
To that purpose, designing in a phase B2/C the right mission and maturing the technologies to enable a go-to-market for future OOS missions is the main goal for EROSS IOD. The objective is to enable the in-orbit demonstration of all the key capabilities: coordinated close rendezvous between two free flying spacecraft comparable in mass and inertia (a first in Europe) and autonomous robotic operations such as capture, refuelling and change of payload with a poly-articulated arm.
In order to ensure a sound and low-cost solution, the project leverages on the previous developments carried out for the last 6 years within the Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) on Space Robotics technologies, particularly in continuity of the past project EROSS and the current project EROSS+.
Thales Alenia Space, with GMV, DLR and 14 European technology providers (research centres, large, medium and small companies including one start-up), is following its plan to commercialise a multipurpose servicer for LEO and GEO servicing by 2026, and this project is a major stepping stone to provide the first go-to-market.