The contract was signed, and the handshakes all around were the final steps as GomSpace and ESA signed a contract valued at 1.2M euros to continue development, operations and the launch of the GOMX-4B and GOMX-4A spacecrafts before the end of 2017.
The satellite, a so called 6U cubesat, with dimension of 20x30x10 cm and weight of approximately 8 kilograms, will demonstrate inter-satellite linking and station keeping capabilities; key enabling technologies for future nanosatellite constellations.
GomSpace is primarily responsible for the the project's satellite platform, the inter-satellite linking radio communication subsystem and integration of partner contributions. NanoSpace from Sweden is one of the project partners and they will provide the cold-gas propulsion system for station keeping.
“The GOMX-4B satellite is the most advanced satellite design we have initiated to date and we are very happy that ESA will participate in this project that will demonstrate possibilities of satellites flying in formation, assess the tandem effect synergy that open the doors to commercial opportunities for using the platform in future constellations for our customers. We are very happy to work with ESA and together take the nanosatellite technology to a new level”, says CEO, Niels Buus, from GomSpace.
The GOMX-4B program was initiated in November 2015 and the Preliminary Design Phase was approved by ESA in May 2016. The new contract covers detailed design, manufacture, integration, launch and satellite operations. Launch is scheduled for the end of 2017 with planned mission operations to be completed within 2018.
“We are very happy to have signed this contract with GomSpace and are certain that the GOMX-4B mission will significantly advance the state-of-the-art of nanosatellite capabilities in view of future operational missions following on from the hightly successful GOMX-3 mission now coming to an end”, says Dr. Roger Walker, from ESA.