European service module structure

Credits: NASA–Radislav Sinyak

Credits: NASA–Radislav Sinyak

In a series of blog posts based on images taken at the Thales Alenia Space facility in Turin, Italy, we will now have a look at part of Orion’s structure.

This tank bulkhead made of aluminium forms the top platform of the second European Service Module – the one that will fly with astronauts. It is almost 5 metres in diameter.

These pictures show work on the top bulkhead that is located inside the Crew Module Adapter directly under the Crew Module Heat Shield of Orion’s second exploration mission

The bulkhead is a key part of the primary structure providing structural rigidity to the Orion spacecraft much like the chassis of a car. It absorbs the vibrations and energy from launch.

The round holes in the bulkhead allow for tanks to poke through. The four larger holes are for tanks that each hold 2000 l of propellant while the four smaller holes are for three oxygen tanks, and one nitrogen tank.

In the middle of the structure is a square opening for cabling, and helium tanks, more on this part in another blog entry tomorrow…

Credits: NASA–Radislav Sinyak

Credits: NASA–Radislav Sinyak

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