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ESA and Vast Sign MoU for Future Vast Space Stations

ESA and Vast
Credit: ESA / Vast

Ibadan, 10 June 2024. – The European Space Agency (ESA) and Vast have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for future Vast space stations during the Berlin International Airshow (ILA), Germany.

The agreement outlines the parties’ intention to foster human spaceflight, science, technology and commercialization development and explore collaboration in low Earth orbit destinations other than the International Space Station (ISS). The signed MoU also reflects ESA’s ambition for a smooth and efficient transition from the International Space Station towards sustained exploitation of human and robotic infrastructures in low Earth orbit after 2030, including through commercial services

The collaboration will initially focus on exploring opportunities for access to space for Europe through the Vast Space Stations. These could include access to the Vast Space Stations for ESA and its Member States, for astronaut missions and research activities as well as commercial business development and supporting European industry to supply subsystems and equipment for future Vast Space Stations.

Furthermore, the collaboration will see Vast make use of future qualified European LEO cargo and/or crew transportation services, at market rates and commercially viable terms and conditions, also as a means for offsetting future ESA Astronaut Missions. Likewise, it entails Vast and ESA jointly supporting European industry in getting certified for docking to future Vast Space Stations.

Speaking of the collaboration, Aschbacher said, “This signature underlines once again ESA’s ambition to modernize itself and to meet the demands of the next era of the space economy. Our teams are looking forward to working closely with VAST teams to ensure the European interests and our collective role in space exploration.” The DG also added, “ESA has proven its determination to play a crucial role in the further development of the LEO economy in space for Europe and European citizens.”

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