The Commercial Lunar Mission Support Services (CLMSS) is a collaboration agreement between SSTL, Goonhilly Earth Station (GES) and the European Space Agency (ESA). This innovative commercial partnership aims to develop a European lunar telecommunications and navigation infrastructure to support lunar scientific and economic development, both for Europe and the rest of the world. The co-operation encompasses both the space and ground segments, and the commercial and regulatory support to catalyse the lunar economy and provide affordable access to lunar, and ultimately deep space, orbits.
Low Cost, High Value Missions Enabler
The first offering from the partnership is a low cost service enabling new, and regular, mission opportunities to the Moon, the next frontier for commerce and sustainable solar system exploration and exploitation.
The service opens opportunities for the deployment of low cost missions into lunar orbit through the use of a high availability, high data rate communications system. This will enable science, prospecting, capability building, education and technology demonstration applications to see a greater return of high value data, acting as a multiplier in terms of benefits, while reducing the entry cost to Lunar missions.
Through Life Mission Support Service
The first mission will offer a ride to lunar orbit for ESA payloads and nanosats, either on-board the Pathfinder spacecraft or aggregated onto the transfer stage, together with communications data relay and navigation services via Pathfinder to the GES Deep Space ground station. Future services will support customers with the integration, transportation and deployment of their payloads, offer data relay and navigation services, and a simple web-based interface for payload operations and return of mission data
Lunar landers, rovers and surface impactors
Private and agency Lunar landers, rovers and surface impactors will also be able to sign up to use the lunar communications and navigation services provided by Pathfinder and the future constellation either for primary mission operations, to provide additional capacity, or as a back-up service. For prospecting, exploring, and ultimately utilising the far side and poles of the Moon, a communications relay service is a mission enabler, providing the vital bridge between Earth and the lunar surface for lunar landers and rovers. Exploration of the far side of the Moon, particularly the South Pole Aitkin Basin, is a key area for future robotic and human exploration due to its chemical and mineral composition. The stable elliptical orbit of Pathfinder and the future constellation will allow for long duration visibility of the Southern Lunar Hemisphere each day, with maximum opportunities for the transmission and reception of data between Earth and the lunar surface.
Call for Lunar Missions and Payloads
A call for lunar missions and payloads is now open and we invite you to discuss how we can meet your mission needs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Download our Lunar Communications Pathfinder Flyer