27, October 2017

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9051
Open Date: 20/10/2017
Closing Date: 01/12/2017 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 17.1MS.06
Prog. Ref.: ExPeRT MarsX
Budget Ref.: E/0116-11M – ExPeRT MarsX
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Orbital Transportation & Re-entry Systems / Structures / Modules structures / Cargo, Separation and distancing, Launch Escape System, Re-entry Module, …
Techology Domains: Structures / Launchers, Reentry Vehicles, Planetary Vehicles / Technologies for Design and Verification of Advanced Primary Structures
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Directorate of Human Sp. & Robotic Exp.
Department: ISS Programme and Exploration Department
Contract Officer: Arrabal, Pablo
Industrial Policy Measure: C2 – Activities in open competition, significant partecipat…
Last Update Date: 20/10/2017
Update Reason: Tender issue

The Earth Return Capsule (ERC) was identified as a high interest European contribution to the internationalMars Sample Return campaign as well as other sample return missions such as Phobos/Asteroid Sample Returnor Lunar Sample Return. In the past, in the frameof different mission concepts, several ERC concepts, design and technologies have been studied and developed. This activity shall combine the currently acquired knowledge into an engineering model, identify technology gaps and potentially close these gaps in the process to increase technological confidence in the ERC design before mission adoption. Specific to a MSR ERC is that it is a major contributor to the backward planetary protection requirement, as being the item that will perform the entry, descent and landing of the Bio-container that contains the Mars samples. Special focus will therefore be on demonstrating a verification approach for the stringent reliability requirements associated with the ERC element of the MSR campaign.The activity is intended to be implemented intwo phases with a first phase for detailed design and a secondphase to include, depending on the selected design, the manufacture ofhardware, final selection of tests, and theactual test campaign.In detail, the following tasks are foreseen in this activity:Phase 1 (1000 K), covered by this procurement: Review of requirements and existing technologies and on-going industrial activitiesfor the ERC Investigate the most suitable design solutions based on the mission requirements. In order to achievethat, trade-offstudies shall be performed based ono the selection of the Thermal Protection System (TPS) material,o the aeroshape concept of thecapsule,o the selection of crushable material,o the potential use of a parachute,o the internal structural design, including structural support to potentially support the parachute,the bio-container closure mechanism, the ERC interface to S/C, the “fuse” release mechanism of the bio-container upon impact, o the accommodation of all equipment such as the beacon and batteries.The trade-offs shall target specifically at fulfilling the two major objectives of a) credibility of ERCdesign (in terms of low mass and implementation schedule) and b) reliability in fulfilling the backwardplanetary protection requirements. Preliminary element level testingmay also be necessary during thistrade-off phase. Detailed design of (at least) two ERC concepts, based on the trade-off outcomes, potentially coveringalso another sample return mission such as Phobos/Lunar Sample Return in addition to MSR. Preliminary verification approach to meet the reliability requirements, including intended tests,preliminary fault tree analysis and allocation of reliability requirements and compliance for each ERCelementProcurement Policy: C(2) = A relevant participation (in terms of quality andquantity) of non-primes (incl. SMEs) is required. For additional information please go to EMITS news “Industrial Policy measures for non-primes, SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes”.

If you wish to access the documents related to the Invitation to Tender, you have to log in to the ESA Portal.