Representatives of Helios and OHB signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Helios hardware to fly on the first three Lunar Surface Access Service (LSAS) lunar surface missions.
Israeli space startup, Helios, which was established in 2018, receives funding from the Israeli Space Agency and the Innovation Authority, is developing technology for the manufacture of oxygen and metal from lunar soil in order to solve one of the major obstacles to future human extraterrestrial colonies.
Helios’ technology, which it develops in its Israel-based laboratories, also has numerous applications on Earth, including the manufacturing of iron and silicon in an environmentally friendly method capable of reducing more than 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
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OHB’s spacecraft is being manufactured in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and will conduct a number of experiments and deliver unique cargo to the moon for the European Space Agency, European and international firms.
“OHB will provide timely access to the Moon to European and international customers from the scientific and economic communities,” Dr. Lutz Bertling, a member of the Management Board of OHB SE, explains. “We seek to fill a gap in the development of the lunar commercial market by establishing LSAS as the first European lunar shuttle service, as an institutional European moon lander will not be available until at least 2029. In the near future, when payloads for lunar missions are tendered, we want to be prepared with our LSAS lunar landing service.”
Jonathan Geifman, CEO of Helios argues, “The production of oxygen on the lunar surface is critical for humanity’s extension beyond Earth and for significantly lowering the cost of space exploration. Oxygen will be the most sought-after consumable in space, as it accounts for over 60% of the mass of any fully filled spacecraft destined for lunar missions and beyond,” he said. “Helios’ lunar mission with OHB enables the company to further develop its oxygen generation technology in a realistic lunar environment and is a critical step in realizing the upcoming cislunar industry.”
Take me to the Moon – launch scheduled for 2025!
OHB and partner IAI are committed to bringing research and commercial payloads to the lunar surface by 2025 via the LSAS lunar transfer. “Customers’ payloads may total between 80 and 110 kilos in total, depending on the mission type. We are thrilled that over 100 scientists and industry representatives have already contacted us “According to Séverine Jacquet, the OHB’s initial point of contact for potential customers.
Helios is a 2018 Israeli startup supported by the Israeli Space Agency, the Israeli Ministry of Energy, and the Israeli Innovation Authority. The company’s mission is to enable human life to be sustainable on Earth and in space. Among its key breakthroughs are reactors capable of producing oxygen on the lunar surface and iron and silicon on Earth with no carbon emissions.
Dr. Timo Stuffler, OHB (left), and Jonathan Geifman, CEO of Helios, sign the memorandum of understanding.