OHB Italia and ESA sign the contract for Comet Interceptor mission study By exploring comets, we can get a deeper understanding of the origins of our solar system and possibly the origin of life

OHB Italia, a subsidiary of the space and technology group OHB SE, signed a contract appointing OHB Italia as one of the two prime contractors performing parallel studies of the Comet Interceptor mission, a new fast-class, deep space mission led by the European Space Agency. The mission will visit a truly pristine object on its first encounter with the inner solar system. The contract for the definition phase has a value of EUR 2.5 Million and lasts two years. An implementation phase will follow in 2023 to guarantee the nominal launch of Comet Interceptor in 2028, together with ESA’s ARIEL mission.

OHB-Italia | COMET

The mission comprises one main spacecraft and two small probes that will fly together towards a yet-to-be-discovered comet. As the comet approaches Earth’s orbit, it will release pristine materials that have been unaltered since the beginning of our solar system. The main spacecraft and the two probes will separate prior to arriving and intercepting the comet’s coma, each performing simultaneous measurements and offering the opportunity to perform science observations at multiple locations within the comet’s coma. In addition, they will carry complimentary remote sensing and in-situ measurement payloads to investigate the comet’s nucleus, its outgassing and trailing materials and the plasma environment.

“Comet Interceptor is an exciting and challenging mission that will offer new insights into the evolution of comets as they migrate inwards from the periphery of the solar system. OHB Italia is proud of working with ESA towards the success of this program, which promises to provide an outstanding contribution towards enhancing our understanding of comets” – said Roberto Aceti, CEO of OHB Italia.

OHB Italia’s responsibilities, as prime contractor, are the mission analysis, system engineering, procurement, integration, testing and other important tasks. OHB Italia will lead a core team made up by OHB System AG, OHB Sweden and the Spanish company Sener Aerospacial. Reference website for ESA is

About OHB Italia:
OHB Italia S.p.A. is part of the European Space and Technology Group OHB SE (Orbitale Hochtechnologie Bremen), listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It is one of the three top system integrators in Europe with 2900 employees worldwide and total revenues exceeded EUR 1 Billion in 2019. OHB Italia S.p.A. was funded in 1981, nowadays the company is one of the two major satellite system integrators in Italy with more than EUR 200 Million backlog and EUR 96 Million revenues in 2019. It is a recognized national leader in the fields of Satellite&Missions, Earth Observation, Space Situational Awareness, Electronics&Mechanisms, Scientific&Planetary Instruments, with Headquarters and Clean Room facilities in Milan and offices in Rome and Benevento. OHB Italia S.p.A. provides innovative solutions combined with high performance and a strong focus on customer satisfaction. It employs 210 people between staff and collaborators, with a high percentage of graduates (78,5%) whose degrees are mainly in Aerospace Engineering, Math and Physics, Electronic Engineering, Information Technology. OHB Italia S.p.A. is prime contractor for various ASI/ESA missions and the main customers are the Italian Space Agency and European Space Agency, Research Institutes, Universities and all the industrial key players in the space market, with special attention to export domain.

For further information, please contact:
Camilla Menescardi – – (+39) 340/7343679