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Waspie_Dwarf

Orion To Have European Service Module

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NASA Signs Agreement for a European-Provided Orion Service Module

Orion is going international.

NASA signed an agreement in mid-December for the European Space Agency (ESA) to provide a service module for the Orion spacecraft’s Exploration Mission-1 in 2017.

› Watch Orion’s Exploration Mission-1 animation

› View the Orion Service Module Briefing Graphics

When the Orion spacecraft blasts off atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket in 2017, attached will be the ESA-provided service module – the powerhouse that fuels and propels the Orion spacecraft.

“Space has long been a frontier for international cooperation as we explore,” said Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for Exploration System Development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This latest chapter builds on NASA’s excellent relationship with ESA as a partner in the International Space Station, and helps us move forward in our plans to send humans farther into space than we’ve ever been before.”

The agreement primarily maps out a plan for ESA to fulfill its share of operational costs and additional supporting services for the International Space Station by providing the Orion service module and necessary elements of its design for NASA’s Exploration Mission-1 in 2017.

There are three major components to the Orion vehicle: the crew capsule, which will carry four astronauts into space on crewed flights and bring them home for a safe landing; the launch abort system, which would pull the crew module to safety in the unlikely event of a life-threatening problem during launch; and the service module, which will house Orion’s power, thermal and propulsion systems. The service module is located directly below the crew capsule and will contain the in-space propulsion capability for orbital transfer, attitude control and high-altitude ascent aborts. It also will generate and store power and provide thermal control, water and air for the astronauts. It will remain connected to the crew module until just before the capsule returns to Earth.

“This is not a simple system” said Mark Geyer, Orion Program manager. “ESA’s contribution is going to be critical to the success of Orion’s 2017 mission."

Exploration Mission-1 in 2017 will be the first integrated flight test with both the Orion spacecraft and NASA’s new Space Launch System. It will follow the upcoming Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014, in which an uncrewed Orion will launch atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket and fly to an altitude of 3,600 miles above Earth’s surface, farther than a human spacecraft has gone in 40 years. For the flight test, a test service module is being built by Lockheed Martin.

Exploration Mission-1 in 2017 will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to demonstrate the performance of the integrated Space Launch System rocket and the spacecraft prior to a crewed flight. It will be followed by Exploration Mission-2, which will launch Orion and a crew of four astronauts into space.

“We have a lot to look forward to in the coming years with human exploration,” Dumbacher said. “NASA is thrilled to have ESA as a partner as we set out to explore our solar system.”

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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ESA Workhorse to power NASA's Orion Spacecraft

proposalformpcvsmnodefu.jpg

Orion

Proposal for a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle-Service Module (MPCV-SM).

Credits: SA-D. Ducros, 2012

16 January 2013 ESA agreed with NASA today to contribute a driving force to the Orion spacecraft planned for launch in 2017. Ultimately, Orion will carry astronauts further into space than ever before using a module based on Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicle technology.

Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs) have been resupplying the International Space Station since 2008. The fourth in the series, ATV Albert Einstein, is being readied for launch next year from Kourou, French Guiana.

atv3leavesspacestationn.jpg

ATV-3 leaves Space Station

ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle Edoardo Amaldi leaving the International Space Station after delivering 6596 kg of fuel, air, oxygen, scientific equipment, spare parts and crew supplies.

The two spacecraft undocked at 23:43 CEST (01:43 GMT) on 28 September 2012.

Credits: NASA

The ATV-derived service module, sitting directly below Orion’s crew capsule, will provide propulsion, power, thermal control, as well as supplying water and gas to the astronauts in the habitable module.

This collaboration between ESA and NASA continues the spirit of international cooperation that forms the foundation of the International Space Station.

ATV is a versatile showcase of European technology performing many functions during a mission to the International Space Station. The space freighter reboosts the Station and can even push the orbital complex out of the way of space debris. While docked, ATV becomes an extra module for the astronauts. Lastly, at the end of its mission it leaves the Space Station with waste materials.

“ATV has proven itself on three flawless missions to the Space Station and this agreement is further confirmation that Europe is building advanced, dependable spacecraft,” said Nico Dettmann, Head of ATV’s production programme.

orionnodefullimage.jpg

Orion

NASA’s Orion spacecraft will carry astronauts further into space than ever before using a module based on Europe’s Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV).

ATV’s distinctive four-wing solar array is recognisable in this concept. The ATV-derived service module, sitting directly below the crew capsule, will provide Orion’s power, thermal control and propulsion.

The first Orion mission will be an uncrewed test in 2017, travelling more than 5000 km from Earth and returning home more than 8000 km/h faster than any current human spacecraft.

Credits: NASA

Thomas Reiter, ESA director of Human Spaceflight and Operations says: “NASA’s decision to cooperate with ESA on their exploration programme with ESA delivering a critical element for the mission is a strong sign of trust and confidence in ESA’s capabilities, for ESA it is an important contribution to human exploration.”

Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA headquarters in Washington DC, agrees: “It is a testament to the engineering progress made to date that we are ready to begin integrating designs of an ESA-built service module with Orion.”

The first Orion mission will be an uncrewed lunar fly-by in 2017, returning to Earth atmosphere at a speed of 11 km/s ­– the fastest reentry ever.

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The US and Europe have cemented their plan to work together on the Americans' next-generation capsule system to take humans beyond Earth.

The Orion vehicle is being built to carry astronauts to the Moon, asteroids and Mars, but it will need a means to propel itself through space.

Europe has now formally agreed to provide this technology.

Space agency executives have just signed an "implementing agreement" to cover the legal aspects of the work.

The first flight of Orion with its European-built "service module" will take place in 2017.

This demonstration will be unmanned and will see Orion go around the back of the Moon before returning to Earth for an ocean splashdown.

If all goes well, a crew is expected to repeat the feat in about 2021. The venture would echo the famous Apollo 8 mission of 1968.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21044408

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