The new capability, called the International Virtual Satellite Operators Network, is being supported by ESA as part of its Space Systems for Safety and...
European Space Agency
The satellite was launched last month along with 45 other similarly small satellites as part of Arianespace's first rideshare demonstration mission.
Airbus said that the ESA contract is valued at $575m and the mission is set to be launched on an Ariane 6 rocket in 2026.
The station, weighing about 40 metric tons, will be automatically assembled piece by piece in a near rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) around the moon.
With a launch planned in 2027, the satellites will carry an advanced multi-frequency altimeter that will measure sea ice thickness and ice sheet elevations.
The project is in response to ESA and European Union's high-priority requirements to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by human activity.
Copernicus is the core satellite Earth Observation programme of the European Commission and ESA.