On board the Cygnus NG 19 cargo ship (dispatched this morning to the International Space Station) is an instrument to be installed on Bartolomeo, the commercial payload platform provided by Airbus on the ISS.
An " all-in-one " mission service
Developed by Airbus Defense and Space (with an investment of around 40 M€), the Bartolomeo platform was delivered in March 2020 to the International Space Station, using the Dragon CRS 20 refueler from SpaceX.
It was attached in January 2021 to the outside of the ISS European module Columbus by American astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover, during a nearly 7 hour spacewalk.
The platform enables Airbus to offer an " all-in-one " mission service for various payloads, starting with 3U cubesats.
The commercial offer includes technical assistance for payload preparation, launch, installation, operation, data transfer, and eventually return to Earth.
Measuring plasma density in the ionosphere
Bartolomeo will soon receive its first payload : the multi-Needle Langmuir Probe m-NLP, developed by the University of Oslo and Norwegian company Eidsvoll Electronics.
This will be the world's first instrument capable of measuring plasma density in the Earth's ionosphere at spatial scales of less than one meter.
The m-NLP probe is part of the on-board cargo of Northrop Grumman's Cygnus NG 19 cargo ship, which was successfully launched to the ISS on August 2.
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