Europe’s Airbus said on Friday it had delivered the “powerhouse” for NASA’s new Orion Spaceship that will take astronauts to the Moon and beyond in coming years, hitting a key milestone that should lead to hundreds of millions of euros in future orders.
Airbus’s European Service Module will provide propulsion, power, thermal control and consumables to the Orion crew module, marking the first time that NASA will use a European-built system as a critical element to power an American spacecraft.
NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before.
Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. Orion will launch on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.
Orion will first fly with astronauts aboard during Exploration Mission-2, a mission that will venture near the Moon and farther from Earth than ever before, launching atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket — which will be the world’s most powerful rocket.