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© OHB Components | October 31, 2016

Antwerp Space inaugurates new clean room

Antwerp Space has officially opened its new clean room. In this secured work space the Antwerp, Belgium, based company will be making components for international space projects.
Antwerp Space’s new clean room in Hoboken (with a ground surface of 100 square meter and a height of 3 meter) is designated to category ISO 8. It will offer a protected environment in which the level of dust particles, the temperature (around 22°) and the relative humidity (about 55 %) are strictly managed, to avoid corrosion or electrical breakdowns.

Starting November 2016, Antwerp Space will be using its new clean room for the production and integration of components for key space programmes for the European Space Agency (ESA).

ExoMars, a collaboration between ESA and the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, consists of two missions to Mars. The first – an orbiter and a lander – was launched on 14 March 2016 and has just arrived at the Red Planet. Part two of the mission – a surface platform which will land on Mars and a rover that will explore the planet’s surface – is planned for 2020 and it will be flown to Mars on board a carrier module. Antwerp Space is responsible for the communication subsystem of the carrier module.

One of the scientific instruments on board the surface platform is LaRa (Lander Radioscience). The The LaRa mission was designed by a scientific team from the Royal Observatory of Belgium and will be engineered and delivered by Antwerp Space. It consists of communication equipment transmitting from Mars to Earth.

Antwerp Space is also responsible for designing, assembling and testing the communication subsystem on the JUICE spacecraft. JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) is planned for launch in 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in 2029.

Finally, Antwerp Space is also developing ARGO, a modem. The first instance of this modem will be used in a new Ka band data relay terminal communication terminal to be attached to the ESA Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS) in 2018.

“The inauguration of this clean room means a milestone in the history of Antwerp Space. Our facilities are now meeting all standards to integrate and test all kinds of satellite subsystems and components. This investment allows us to continue our ambitious plans for the future” confirms Oliver Salisch, Managing Director of Antwerp Space.
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