Barcelona Moon Team attends ESA meeting at ESTEC (2)
Barcelona Moon Team and other two European teams (Team Italia and White Label Space) attended last Friday June 22nd to the meeting organized at ESTEC in Noordwijk in Holland.
ESA’s representatives included Andrés Gálvez, ESA General Studies Programme; Berengère Houdou, ESA Lunar Lander Project, HSO-IL; David Perigo, ESA Mechanical Engineering Dept.,TEC-M; José Longo, ESA ESA Mechanical Engineering Dept, TEC-M; Denis Rebuffat - ESA Science Directorate / SRE-FP; David Agnolon - ESA Science Directorate / SRE-FP and Juan de Dalmau - ESA Communication Department. The European Commission was also represented at the meeting, by Tanja Zegers, from EC Enterprise and Industry.
During the morning, Berengère Houdou explained the ESA Lunar Lander project and its philosophy: this is a mission built around a capability of landing with a very high precision. Unfortunately this is not at the moment the highest priority within the Agency.
Tanja Zegers from the EC, explained the last shot for the FP7 program and its follow on Horizon 2020, which presents some opportunities for the teams technology developments although they might come too late to the outcome of the competition.
Anita Heward presented how the NASA organized the ILDD contracts to help the American teams.
The European GLXP teams that attended the meeting were Team Italia (Michèle Lavagna, Politecnico di Milano); White Label Space (Andrew Barton and Cristina Porcel Magnusson) and the Barcelona Moon Team (Marc Zaballa, Carlos García, Rafael Harillo from Galactic Suite; Pol Guixé; Pablo Colmenarejo and Mariella Graziano from GMV)
The teams presented the status of their missions and their future plans, and a short discussion was held. Barcelona Moon Team presented a very consistent team and mission. ESA representatives were very glad seeing industrial partners they use to cooperate with joining the initiative and were very interested on the low cost strategies that are being used: unlike the Agency missions, reduces its costs by assuming higher risks and its reliability, instead of a 99,9% might be of a 95%, allowing the cost drop off.
In the afternoon the teams and ESA and EC representatives moved to the facilities of HE Space, a company celebrating its 30th anniversary. With the occasion Peter Diamandis was invited and he met with the teams individually to know their status. Peter presented his experience at the front of Blast Off a company that back in 2000 already attempted to go to the Moon with a robotic mission privately funded.
Peter also met several times with Franco Ongaro, Head of ESTEC, to share with him the benefits of supporting the program and how NASA organized the ILDD contracts that offered $30Milion to the GLXP American teams.
In Peter words, the risk that ESA would be assuming is minimum compared to the major benefits that a successful European mission to the Moon would report for the companies participating.