ISS equipped with pioneering technology from Antwerp


On 14 February 2020, a modem from Antwerp Space in Hoboken was sent in a rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia (US) to the International Space Station (ISS). It is intended to optimise communication with the earth.

The 70 physicists, engineers, hardware and software developers at Antwerp Space produce systems and apparatus for European space programmes and commercial space applications worldwide.

They spent two years working on the modem, which weighs 4 kg. It is the first in Europe to use advanced coding technology, and is intended to allow European astronauts on the ISS to communicate scientific data gathered in space more quickly with their colleagues back on earth at the European Space Agency (ESA) via broadband internet. It will increase the download capacity of the ISS threefold. This means they will become less dependent on their American colleagues. The modem, which will be fitted to the Columbus Module of ESA at the ISS in April, must stand up to the vibrations and radiation experienced in space. The rocket also carried hardware and equipment for the crew on board.

Antwerp Space calls the project another success that will motivate the company to use the premium modem technology in the future for both institutional and commercial markets worldwide.

So it looks like even more bits of Antwerp will end up in space.