Celestia Antwerp in collaboration with Celestia STS have successfully performed MSR ERO TM/TC FE Set-1 (AVM), which was was shipped to Toulouse, France in June. Following delivery, Site Acceptance Tests (SAT) were performed with Celestia Antwerp and Celestia STS personnel on-site and completed successfully. In addition, an (online) training session was given shortly afterwards.
As a result, MSR ERO Set-1 (AVM) has been accepted by Thales Alenia Space (TAS).
About MSR-ERO mission
ESA is working with NASA to explore mission concepts for an international Mars Sample Return campaign between 2020 and 2030. Three launches will be necessary to accomplish landing, collecting, storing and finding samples and delivering them to Earth. NASA’s Mars 2020 mission will explore the surface and rigorously document and store a set of samples in canisters in strategic areas to be retrieved later for flight to Earth.
According to eoportal.org "In October 14, 2020: Airbus has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as prime contractor for the Mars Sample Return’s Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) – the first ever spacecraft to bring samples back to Earth from Mars. Mars Sample Return (MSR) is a joint ESA-NASA campaign and the next step in the exploration of Mars. ERO and the Sample Fetch Rover (SFR) are the two main European elements of MSR, both are set to be designed and built by Airbus. A manipulating arm, referred to as the Sample Transfer Arm (STA), that will transfer the samples from the SFR to the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), is the third European contribution to the MSR program. The value of the ERO contract is € 491 million."