Airbus and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a contract booking two independent payload missions for the Bartolomeo platform on the International Space Station (ISS).

The two payloads are Exobiology Platform (EXPO) and Euro Material Ageing experiment platform (SESAME). They are scheduled for launch in 2022 and 2024.

Worth €6.5m, these are the first service orders under a new framework agreement between ESA and Airbus.

ESA human and robotic exploration director David Parker said: “With this framework contract, we are making it significantly easier for ESA to use the Bartolomeo Service for quick and affordable use of the ISS.

“Commercial arrangements have been streamlined, which enables our researchers to enjoy the full benefits of Bartolomeo’s short lead times and high flexibility.

“We are very pleased to have the first two ESA payloads secured on the platform, and are looking forward to using this new European asset on the ISS.”

ESA’s EXPO facility carries a group of radiation experiments that are designed to study the evolution of organic molecules and organisms in space.

It will connect two scientific modules to the platform, which include scientific sample containers, fluidics systems and sensors.

This three-year mission will send samples to Earth for comprehensive investigation and analysis.

Developed by French Space Agency (CNES), SESAME will study the ageing behaviour of new materials in space and the effect of the space environment on them.

In June last year, Airbus and ESA signed a €16m contract to continue operating and using European components on the ISS.