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Third European Service Module for mission to land astronauts on the Moon

on 09 June 2020

When astronauts land on the Moon in 2024 they will get there with help from the European Service Module. The European Space Agency signed the contract for the building of the third European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft that will ferry the next astronauts to land on the Moon.

The third Artemis mission will fly astronauts to Earth’s natural satellite in 2024 – the first to land on the Moon since Apollo 17 following a hiatus of more than 50 years.

NASA’s Artemis programme is returning humans to the Moon with ESA’s European Service Module supplying everything needed to keep the astronauts alive on their trip in the crew module – water, air, propulsion, electricity, a comfortable temperature.

Orion is the size of a small house with the European Service Module taking up the first floor at four meters in diameter and height. It has four solar wings that extend 19 m across to generate enough energy to power two households. It carries 8.6 tonnes of fuel to power Orion’s main engine and 32 smaller thrusters that will keep it on course to the Moon and power the return home to Earth.

The first European Service Module is being handed over to NASA at their Kennedy Space Center for an uncrewed launch next year, and the second is in production at the Airbus integration hall in Bremen, Germany.

More information can be found at this link.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/ATG Medialab