Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) (TASE: ARSP.B1) and German satellite company OHB will cooperate in a moon research program for the European Space Agency (ESA). Under the plan, OHB will provide services for reaching the moon, using a landing craft to be developed and manufactured by IAI.
The spaceship is based on the spaceship built for Space IL, which will be launched from Cape Canaveral in a few weeks.
It is believed that the European Space Agency will decide in the coming year which company will carry out the moon mission, according to which IAI will manufacture the new spaceship. The potential deal is believed to be in the tens of millions of dollars. IAI says that this venture can be an important foothold for the company in outer space research. IAI currently develops and manufactures surveillance and communications satellites.
IAI space division manager Opher Doron, who signed the cooperation agreement with the German company, said that lively activity in space research is expected in the coming years, which would increase the need for platforms to carry equipment and other necessary tools for these processes from the earth to the moon. "There's still a long road ahead, and there are many risks, but this is very important step in the right direction, and we're all excited. The business potential of this activity is very good, largely owing to the activity done in the development of Space IL's Bereshit spaceship," he said.
OHB, the largest private satellite company in Germany, provides services to various concerns throughout Europe. If ESA accepts its bid, it will be the chief contractor in the project, and will manage development of the cargo and scientific devices to be installed on the landing craft itself, which IAI will make.
IAI said today that as part of the missions planned by ESA, spaceships will put various technologies on the moon that will assess the feasibility of producing water and other materials and bring back samples taken from land on the moon. IAI added, "These technologies are essential for settling people outside the Earth in the long term."
Commenting on the cooperation agreement signed with IAI, OHB CEO Marco Fuchs said, "Moon research and considering it as a base for finding resources on the moon, such as fuel, oxygen, and water, is the next obvious step."
According to Fuchs, landing on the moon still poses a technological challenge, and OHB is therefore investing major resources in developing technologies in the matter through the new cooperation with IAI, among other things.
"This is an honor for the Israeli space industry," IAI president and CEO Brig. Gen. (res.) Nimrod Sheffer said today. "The technological know-how acquired in the development of the Bereshit spaceship and the new cooperative effort are enabling us to be partners in advanced research into outer space."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 29, 2019
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