2021: A Year of Major Successes for Thales Alenia Space

Reading time ( words)

Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), logged a number of successes in 2021, including key contracts, major industrial milestones and launches, a series of innovations and new capital investments.

Space to Explore: returning astronauts to the Moon and space exploration on the agenda in 2021


Thales Alenia Space confirmed its global leadership in orbital infrastructures last year, by confirming the development contract for the communications and refueling module ESPRIT on the upcoming Gateway lunar space station. This business win followed two contracts signed in 2020 to produce the I-HAB and HALO pressurized modules. Gateway is being developed within the scope of NASA’s Artemis program, designed to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024. The lunar space station will also be used as a waystation to prepare crewed missions to Mars.

Thales Alenia Space also announced an order for two more pressurized cargo modules on Cygnus, the resupply vessel for the International Space Station, and won a contract from Axiom Space to build two pressurized modules for the first commercial space station, Axiom.
Thales Alenia Space is also playing a major role on the Orion spacecraft, designed to carry astronauts to the Moon as part of the Artemis program, especially as supplier of thermomechanical systems for the European Service Module (ESM). In 2021, Thales Alenia Space participated in the final integration of critical systems on the second module (ESM 2), and also signed a contract amendment providing for a similar contribution to ESM 4, 5 and 6.
Other highlights in 2021 included significant progress on major programs such as the second ExoMars mission, to be launched in September 2022, and EUCLID, a science mission dedicated to the study of dark energy and matter.

Space to Observe and Protect: second COSMO-SkyMed second-generation satellite ready for launch; SWOT oceanographic satellite passes new milestone

The second COSMO-SkyMed second-generation satellite was shipped from the company’s Rome plant in December 2021 to Cape Canaveral, where it’s now being readied for the planned launch in late January. The second generation of COSMO-SkyMed radar observation satellites is being built by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor on behalf of the Italian space agency and defense ministry. The payload and platform for SWOT, the French-American oceanographic satellite, were integrated in 2021, a major milestone for this revolutionary satellite, slated for launch in 2022.

Space to Connect: selected for Telesat’s planned constellation and a leading position in the geostationary communications satellite market

Capitalizing on its globally recognized expertise in constellations, Thales Alenia Space was chosen by the operator Telesat in February 2021 to build Lightspeed, a constellation of 298 telecom satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). The Lightspeed network will offer data rates of several terabits/second worldwide, providing secure, high-speed and high-performance connectivity for professional applications.
Also in February 2021, Thales Alenia Space and Satelit Nusantara Tiga (SNT) announced that they had finalized funding for the development of the Satria broadband communications satellite, designed to bridge the digital divide in Indonesia. This key step follows the preliminary agreement to start various activities for the satellite, signed in early September 2020.



Suggested Items

DoD Faces Growing Risks from Reliance on Lead in Electronics

12/13/2021 | Chris Peters, USPAE
Like a cancer that spreads untreated until it becomes an urgent problem, the U.S. defense community is facing a small but growing problem that is increasingly undermining U.S. military readiness and technological dominance. The problem is lead—specifically, the lead-alloy solders that traditionally have been used to attach electronic components to printed circuit boards (PCBs). Over the last 15 years, the commercial electronics industry has shifted to lead-free solders, prompted by environmental health regulations in Europe and elsewhere. However, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and its contractors never made the switch and are still heavily reliant on leaded solders. Now, leaded electronics are becoming harder to find and more outdated.

IBM, Raytheon to Collaborate on Artificial Intelligence, Cryptography and Quantum Technologies

10/11/2021 | Raytheon Company
IBM and Raytheon Technologies will jointly develop advanced artificial intelligence, cryptographic and quantum solutions for the aerospace, defense and intelligence industries, including the federal government, as part of a strategic collaboration agreement the companies announced.

USPAE Launches $42M DoD Consortium

02/11/2021 | I-Connect007 Editorial Team
The I-Connect007 editorial team recently interviewed Chris Peters, Kevin Sweeney and Shane Whiteside, members of the U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE), about the award the association received from the Department of Defense to create the Defense Electronics Consortium. In this conversation, they discuss the objectives of the consortium, which was created to help the government identify and address potential risks in the electronics industry.

Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.