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
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.
our exclusive ESM arrival photos taken from Titusville, FL.
an uncrewed test flight in 2020 on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) mammoth rocket.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
begins now inside the Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout (O & C)
building at KSC where the crew module is being manufactured by prime contractor
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
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
the Atlantic Ccean the ESM “was packed in a custom-built container that keeps
the environment inside within acceptable limits for transportation,” said ESA.
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.
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.
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
temperatures, “while the module’s structure is the backbone of the entire
vehicle, like a car chassis,” according to ESA.
burns to propel Orion into and out of lunar orbit to return to Earth. The module is
equipped with 33 engines altogether.
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.
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.
and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com –
twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
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