First European-Built Service Module Arrives at KSC for NASA’s First Orion Moon Mission: Photos

First European-built Orion Service Module (ESM) arrives at NASA’s
Kennedy Space Center aboard Antonov An-124 cargo jet flying from Bremen, Germany on Nov.
6, 2018. The module was provided by the European Space Agency to propel NASA’s
first Orion mission to the Moon in 2020 on the Space Launch System rocket.   Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken Kremer    SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM — 6
November 2018



TITUSVILLE, FL – The critical European-built powerhouse module
that will help propel
NASA’s Orion human-rated spacecraft on its first voyage to the Moon
and eventually on future deep space missions beyond, arrived stateside at the
Kennedy Space Center, FL, today, Tuesday, Nov. 6, from its manufacturing facility
in Germany.
The
first European Service Module (ESM) built and funded by the European Space
Agency (ESA) flew here aboard a huge Antanov An-124 cargo jet touching down gracefully
at approximately 11:34 a.m. EST – as witnessed by Space UpClose.
Enjoy
our exclusive ESM arrival photos taken from Titusville, FL.
First European-built Orion Service Module (ESM) arrives at NASA’s
Kennedy Space Center aboard Antonov An-124 flying from Bremen, Germany on Nov.
6, 2018. The module was provided by the European Space Agency to propel NASA’s
first Orion mission to the Moon in 2020 on the Space Launch System rocket.   Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Orion’s first mission launches to the Moon on
an uncrewed test flight in 2020 on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) mammoth rocket.
The
implications here are huge because this marks
the first
time that NASA “will use a European-built system as a critical element to power
an American spacecraft, extending the international cooperation of the
International Space Station into deep space.
First European-built Orion Service Module (ESM) arrives at NASA’s
Kennedy Space Center aboard Antonov An-124 flying from Bremen, Germany on Nov.
6, 2018. The module was provided by the European Space Agency to propel NASA’s
first Orion mission to the Moon in 2020 on the Space Launch System rocket.   Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Orion and SLS 
are under development by NASA to lead humanity back to a permanent presence
at the
Moon
together with partners including Europe and potentially Russia, Canada and Japan.
 
The
Antanov An-124 swooped in from the Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of Florida
after taking off from Bremen, Germany yesterday, Nov. 5, by way of a stopover
in Portsmouth, NH. The cargo plane banked southwards for a safe lunchtime landing
at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) – the same runway where NASA’s orbiters returned
from missions to low Earth orbit for 3 decades.
First European-built Orion Service Module (ESM) arrives at NASA’s
Kennedy Space Center aboard Antonov An-124 flying from Bremen, Germany on Nov.
6, 2018. The module was provided by the European Space Agency to propel NASA’s
first Orion mission to the Moon in 2020 on the Space Launch System rocket.   Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
“The European-built service module that will
propel, power and cool during the Orion flight to the Moon on Exploration
Mission-1
arrived from Germany at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center
in Florida on Tuesday to begin final outfitting, integration and testing with
the crew module and other Orion elements,” NASA said in a statement.
The
importance of today’s arrival of the Orion ESM cannot be overstated – because NASA’s
Orion Crew Module can’t go anywhere absent the newly arrived module.   
“We have a strong foundation of cooperation with
ESA through the International Space Station partnership, and the arrival of the
service module signifies that our international collaboration extends to our
deep space human exploration efforts as well,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA’s
associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, in a statement.

Graphic outlining NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 with Orion human-rated
spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket launch to the Moon in 2020. Credit:
NASA  

The
next step is to test, connect and integrate the two hardware components together
with NASA’s Orion Crew Module stacked atop ESA’s Orion Service Module –  just like the  Apollo Command and Service modules.

That effort
begins now inside the Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout (O & C)
building at KSC where the crew module is being manufactured by prime contractor
Lockheed Martin.
The cylindrically
shaped ESM arrived at the entrance to the O & C later in the day.  



“Come on in; we’ve been waiting for you! The @esa @AirbusSpace
European Service Module is at the door of the
@NASAKennedy Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building!”
tweeted
Mark Kirasich, NASA’s Orion program manager.



Crated European-built Orion Service Module (ESM) arrives at
Operations & Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 6,
2018 after flying from Bremen, Germany. Credit: NASA





“Engineers will complete functional checkouts
to ensure all elements are working properly before it is connected to the Orion
crew module. Teams will weld together fluid lines to route gases and fuel and
make electrical wiring connections,” NASA reported.
The European Service
Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft is loaded on an Antonov airplane in Bremen,
Germany, on Nov. 5, 2018, for transport to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in
Florida. Credits:
NASA/Rad Sinyak
For the thousands of miles (km) journey across
the Atlantic Ccean the ESM “was packed in a custom-built container that keeps
the environment inside within acceptable limits for transportation,” said ESA.
Prime
contractor Airbus Defence & Space designed and manufactured the ESM at
facilities in Bremen, Germany and Turin, Italy with over 20,000 parts provided
by companies across ESA’s partner nations. The design builds on heritage from
ESA’s now retired
Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) which
served as a cargo freighter for the ISS.
The 4-meter
tall ESM provides power, propulsion, life support and consumables for the Orion
crew capsule and the astronauts – including
oxygen, nitrogen
and water – on the first integrated flight with the SLS heavy lift booster on EM-1. 
The service module is equipped with four
giant
solar array wings that span 19 meters when deployed and provide
enough electricity to power two three-bedroom homes, as well as the orbital
maneuvering system.
Radiators and heat exchangers help maintain comfortable
temperatures, “while the module’s structure is the backbone of the entire
vehicle, like a car chassis,” according to ESA.
The main engine ignites to provide the powerful
burns to propel Orion into and out of lunar orbit to return to Earth.  The module is
equipped with 33 engines altogether.
For this first service module the engine is a
repurposed Space Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System engine.  It has flown 19 times in space before on three
shuttle orbiters including Challenger, Discovery and Atlantis from 1984 to its
last flight in space in 2002 on the STS-112 mission and provides 25.7 kN thrust.

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports
direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
and Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science
and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com –
twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research
scientist and journalist based in the KSC area.
………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Artists concept of NASA’s Orion spacecraft mission to the
Moon. Credit: NASA

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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