IAI Partners with Germany’s OHB to Propose Lunar Surface Access Service to ESA

The signing ceremony (Photo: Alex Polo)

OHB System AG, a leading German manufacturer of satellites and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), signed a teaming agreement on Tuesday 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 agreement was signed by Marco Fuchs, CEO 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 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. IAI will build the lander, accommodate payloads, integrate with the launcher, support the LEOP & decommissioning and provide technical support in all mission phases from design, payload integration, launch and mission operations.  

ESA’s ISRU (In-Situ Resource Utilization) initiative 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.

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 know-how acquired in the development and manufacturing of ‘Beresheet’ lunar lander with SpaceIL and the teaming with OHB allows 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.”

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


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