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ESA Signs Mission Contracts for Genesis and LEO-PNT Satellites

Genesis satellite. Credit: ESA

Ibadan, 21 March 2024. – The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed contracts with several European companies for an overall amount of € 233 million to develop Genesis and a LEO-PNT demonstrator, two new missions within the FutureNAV program that will keep Europe at the forefront of satellite navigation worldwide.

The contract for Genesis amounts to € 76.6 million. Furthermore, a consortium of 14 entities led by OHB Italia S.p.A. (IT) will be responsible for developing, manufacturing, qualifying, calibrating, launching and operating the Genesis satellite, including all its payloads. The Genesis satellite will tentatively launch in 2028, followed by years of scientific exploitation. The mission also enjoys support from Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Hungary and the UK.

For LEO-PNT, there are two parallel contracts of € 78.4 million for two end-to-end low Earth orbit positioning, navigation and timing (LEO-PNT) in-orbit demonstrators. Likewise, the contracts include the design and development of satellites and payloads, ground segment, test user segment and satellite launches, operations, experimentation and demonstration of services with end users.

GMV Aerospace and Defence S.A.U. (ES) is leading one of the contracts for the LEO-PNT demonstrator as overall system prime and OHB System AG (DE) as space segment prime and core partner. Likewise, Thales Alenia Space France S.A.S (FR) leads the second contract as overall system prime and Thales Alenia Space SPA (IT) as space segment prime. The first LEO-PNT satellite will tentativley launch within 20 months from kick-off, and the complete demonstration constellation to be in orbit before 2027.

The two consortia consequently involve over 50 entities from 14 countries, including industrial actors with a long heritage in space, together with new actors following novel approaches to space – a combination of space primes, midcaps and SMEs, also engaging representatives from end-user communities.

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