European Service Module structural test mating

 

European Service Module test article mating to Orion Crew Module adapter. Credits: ESA/NASA

European Service Module test article mated to Orion Crew Module adapter. Credits: ESA/NASA

European Service Module test article mating to Orion Crew Module adapter. Credits: ESA/NASA

European Service Module test article mated to Orion Crew Module adapter. Credits: ESA/NASA

The first European hardware to arrive at NASA for Orion is the European Service Module structural test article. This test version of the service module has the same weight and configuration as the real thing and will undergo advanced testing at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Ohio, USA.

In these pictures the test article is in scaffolding ‘mated’ to the Crew Module Adapter, which connects the service module to the Orion Crew Module.

To finalise the installation technicians will fit the radiators.

The pictures show the main large engine nozzle below and the smaller, red, auxiliary thrusters surrounding it. On the side are the silver Reaction Control System thrusters used for orientation. The larger tank on the right is for propellant with a smaller water tank visible on the left.

Once the integration or mating is complete the Service Module will weigh 13 000 kg in total. All 13000 kg will be placed on a shaker and vibrated for the sine-vibration test to recreate the stress of launch.

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