Going to the Moon and Mars?

Get Airbus Defence and Space to build your service module!

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That spacecraft is Orion.

NASA’s intention is to use the Orion space capsule for human missions to the Moon, to asteroids and into the depths of space. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is developing and constructing the space capsule for four or more astronauts on behalf of NASA.

For me, the really interesting part is NASA have contracted the European Space Agency (ESA) to build the service module, based upon the highly successful Automated Transfer Vehicle. (ATV)

That makes future Space exploration a truly Euro-US venture.

On the 17th November, Airbus Defence and Space signed a contract with the ESA for the development and construction of the service module for Orion. It will provide propulsion, power supply, thermal control and the central elements of the life support system of the American capsule.

Awesome news for Airbus Defence ands Space, and really proves how amazing the ATV is (was?) as a vehicle.

I really hope I can get involved with this project. Time to start brushing up on my German!

The CG video below is an introduction to Orion and NASA’s Space Launch System. You can see the solar arrays deploying from the service module at 45 seconds, in the familiar “X” shape of the ATV.

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