NASA's Orion spacecraft will be launched in a few days from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, on its mission to the Moon.
he Airbus-built European Service Module (ESM) will power Orion to and from its lunar orbit as part of NASA’s Artemis missions. Airbus has developed the ESM as prime contractor for the European Space Agency ESA and is designing and manufacturing a further five ESMs.
The ESM is a key element of Orion, the next-generation spacecraft that will carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit for the first time since the Apollo programme ended in the 1970s. The module provides propulsion, power and thermal regulation and will supply astronauts with water and oxygen on future missions. The ESM is installed below the crew module. Together, the two make up the Orion spacecraft.
"The launch of NASA's Orion spacecraft with the European Service Module has historic significance 50 years after the last astronaut lunar mission and is another major step toward returning astronauts to the Moon. The programme is now moving forward and we are ready for a return to the lunar surface in 2025 together with our customers ESA and NASA and our industrial partner Lockheed Martin Space," said Jean-Marc Nasr, head of Space Systems at Airbus.
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