NASA’s Space Relay Partnership, Services Study Chooses Eutelsat as Participant

Eutelsat, a subsidiary of Eutelsat Communications, has been selected by NASA for the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2) as part of the NASA Space Relay Partnership and Services Study.

The NextSTEP-2 program seeks to establish partnerships with US companies to evaluate the incorporation of commercial elements into the future space relay services that will be provided by the agency’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) Networks.

This first stage, for which Eutelsat America Corp. has been selected, is a five-month study that will examine how relay communications and navigation services can be provided on commercial platform solutions based on standards interoperable across commercial and NASA networks. The study will determine the elements required to incorporate NASA’s optical technology onto commercial spacecraft. This project could open the door to the use of Public-Private Partnerships to develop and introduce new operational capabilities for future use by NASA.

“We are delighted to have been selected for this study by NASA as they evaluate partnerships with commercial operators across the industry to foster the growth of the commercial satellite communications relay services market,” said David Bair, CEO, Eutelsat. “This project could benefit future NASA missions for new and greater scientific discovery, in alignment with the NASA envisioned Next Generation Architecture. We look forward to the success of this initial stage and to continuing to work with NASA as this project grows.”