Europe delivers module for first astronaut mission to the Moon

Wed, 13 Oct 2021 02:22:00 GMT
ESA Human Spaceflight

The second European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft is on its way to USA. It is the last...

The second European Service Module for NASA's Orion spacecraft is on its way to USA. It is the last stopover on Earth before this made-in-Europe powerhouse takes the first astronauts around the Moon on the Artemis II mission.

Upon arrival at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the second European Service Module will be connected to the crew module.

The service module is a critical element for Orion - it provides propulsion, power and thermal control and will supply astronauts with water and oxygen.

With parts made in ten countries in Europe, there is one element that returns to American soil after testing in Germany: the service module's main engine is a refurbished engine from Space Shuttle Atlantis that will steer the spacecraft on its way to the Moon.

Artemis II will be the first crewed mission to the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

European industry is committed to deliver one service module per year.

Airbus is ESA's prime contractor for building the first six service modules.

The European Service Module will take the spacecraft more than 64 000 km beyond the Moon in a test flight to demonstrate its capabilities.

Two arrivals mark the lunar week on site: ESM-2 and the main pressure vessel for Artemis III, which will see the first woman and next man setting foot on the Moon.

In Europe, the third European Service Module is at the start of its integration phase where equipment dummies, brackets and harness will be added to the structure.

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