Author Archives: julien

Shipping the second European service module structure

While the first European service module is getting ready for transport to the USA this summer, the second module’s structure is already complete and heading to its integration hall in Bremen, Germany. Engineers at Thales Alenia Espace...

Solar wings at ESTEC. Credits: ESA–M.Cowan

Solar array testing at ESTEC

The solar arrays that will provide electricity to the Orion spacecraft were put through launch-day paces at ESA’s Test Centre in the Netherlands to verify that they can handle the rigours of the trip around the Moon....

Tanks installed in first European service module

The European service module that will provide power, water, air and electricity to NASA’s Orion Moon module has taken a large step closer to completion with the installation of its fuel tanks and testing of its solar...

The Orion stage adaptor flight hardware ready to travel to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credits: NASA

Orion stage adaptor complete

The stage adaptor that will connect the Space Launch System to Orion for its first mission is nearing completion. At the top, the Orion stage adaptor connects to Orion’s spacecraft adaptor, which sits directly below the European...

Acoustic testing

A video on acoustic testing of the European Service Module Structural Test Article at Lockheed Martin’s acoustic lab.  

Credits: NASA–Radislav Sinyak

Working on the water tank

In a series of blog posts based on images taken at Thales Alenia Space building facility in Turin, Italy, we will now have a look at the water tanks in Orion’s second European Service Module – the...

Orion European Service Module-2 structure complete

Wrapping up our blog entries on the frame of the second European Service module for Orion, these pictures show the completed internal structure for Flight Model-2. It will support up to four astronauts and send them further...

Credits: NASA–Radislav Sinyak

European service module structure

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...

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Video: Orion’s first exploration mission

Narrated by NASA mission manager Mike Sarafin this eight-minute video takes you on the 25-day mission of the first Exploration Mission for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. 

In the air. Credits: OHB

Propulsion Qualification Module heading to USA

The European Service Module Propulsion Qualification Module is being shipped from assembly was completed in January in Stockholm, Sweden, and the model packed up and ready for shipment to NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico,...

Propulsion Qualification Model (PQM), currently including the structure and the propellant tanks, ready for the start of integration activities at OHB Sweden.

Propulsion Qualification Model update

OHB in Sweden is assembling, integrating and doing initial testing of the European Service Module Propulsion Qualification Model (PQM) that represents the propulsion system for testing purposes. It is much heavier than the final module as it...

Testing complete on Orion service module test article

On Monday 12 December ESA handed over ownership of the Orion European Service Module test article to NASA at the agency’s Plum Brook facility – marking the end of individual testing for the structure. This version was...

Orion's Service Module Engine during vibration testing at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA. Credits: NASA

Orion main engine arrives in Europe

The main engine for the European Service Module that will power NASA’s Orion spacecraft was shipped from NASA’s White Sands facility and has arrived at Airbus Space and Defence assembly hall in Bremen, Germany. The first Orion exploration...

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Moving the service module test article

Over at NASA’s Glenn Research facility Plumbrook station the European service module test article was moved from its vibration table to the assembly high-bay area. This timelapse doesn’t do the huge size of the facility and the...

PQM delivery in Bremen, Germany. Credits: Airbus

Gearing up for Orion propulsion subsystem tests

Engineers are preparing for tests to qualify the propulsion subsystem, including the main engine, for Orion’s European-built service module that will propel the spacecraft during its flight in deep space. They will test engineering units, fully representative...

Orion service module structure. Credits: Airbus
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Service module structure moved to clean room

The European Service Module that will power NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the Moon and beyond is taking shape in the assembly hall at Airbus Defence and Space,  Bremen, Germany. The spacecraft module will provide propulsion, electricity, water,...