The project will see a constellation of satellites deployed to orbit the moon
So far £2million worth of contracts have been awarded to British companies
ESA says the communication and navigation system will support future space missions. They say it will bring down the cost of trips crewed or robotic, to the moon
ESA says the project, known as Moonlight, will support the Lunar Gateway space station, multiple agencies working on moon missions and human exploration.
In what will be the world’s first commercial service of its kind, a number of British companies have won contracts to investigate how it might work.
‘We are entering a new phase – the systematic exploration of our “eighth continent”, the Moon,’ ESA’s David Parker told BBC News.
‘The Moon is a store of 4.5 billion years of Solar System history, but we’ve hardly begun to unlock its secrets. And so Moonlight is something that we see as really exciting, as a necessary infrastructure to support sustained exploration.