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Thales Alenia Space Signs ESA Contract for ExoMars Mission

Thales Alenia Space
Credit: Thales Alenia Space

Ibadan, 10 April 2024. – Thales Alenia Space has signed a framework contract divided into different tranches with the European Space Agency (ESA), worth a total of €522m, to continue essential activities for the completion of the ExoMars 2028 mission. The contract includes the development of the Mars Entry, Descent and Landing Module (EDLM) and maintenance activities on vehicles already built for the 2022 mission.

The upcoming ExoMars mission, which will tentatively launch from the Kennedy Space Center between October and December 2028, will explore the Martian surface in search of signs of past life. Furthermore, the mission will deliver a European rover capable of autonomous driving on the planet’s surface. The rover will subsequently collect soil samples by drilling into the Martian soil up to 2 meters deep and will analyze their chemical, physical and biological properties using its advanced Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD).

As industrial prime contractor for the ExoMars 2028 mission, Thales Alenia Space is responsible for designing the Entry, Descent and Landing Module (EDLM), developing its radar altimeter, integrating the Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD) on the rover and developing the onboard computer. The Space manufacturer is also responsible for assembly, integration and test activities (AIT), as well as overseeing the launch campaign.

Speaking on the contract, Thales Alenia Space CEO Hervé Derrey said, “In the near future, the Moon, with ARTEMIS II and III missions, will be in the spotlight, and our company will be in the front seat of manned lunar exploration, working in particular on Orion spacecraft’s European service module, Gateway cislunar space station and lunar multi-purpose habitats. Today’s ExoMars 2028 contract strengthens Thales Alenia Space’s position as a major leader in the field of space exploration.”

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