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News

QinetiQ is delighted to be able to support Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and their Lunar Pathfinder mission

16/09/2021

Lunar Pathfinder is planned for launch in 2024 and will be the first dedicated system to provide a commercial service for relaying communications between a myriad of Lunar assets and the Earth.

This significant and innovative service will dramatically improve the value and outcomes from all types of missions as it will provide unprecedented flexibility and eliminate current data transfer restraints. QinetiQ has significant experience in proximity link communications in deep space and has played a key role in four Mars missions to date.

Dr Alastair Nicholls, from QinetiQ’s space business commented, “ Our congratulations to SSTL on signing this contract and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them and the other mission stakeholders to ensure a successful delivery of the satellite and associated service. Lunar Pathfinder will feature QinetiQ’s Lunar Link Transponder – a strong performing, low risk lunar link communications solution that will not only fulfil the spacecraft’s target objectives but will also form the basis of compatible technology that organisations (‘users’) of the Lunar Pathfinder service can embed within their lunar asset to access the service. Our technology will enable SSTL’s Lunar Pathfinder satellite to provide a communication service for organisations keen to land on or orbit around the moon to undertake exploration and scientific studies and will prove invaluable for all types of lunar asset – including cubesats, robotic landers and rovers". You can find out more here: QinetiQ - Deep Space Communications