Thursday, January 17, 2013

NASA, ESA agree on new Orion-MPV SM

This animation shows NASA's Orion spacecraft as it will appear on its Exploration Mission-1 in 2017, complete with a service module to be provided by the European Space Agency. After Orion blasts off atop a Space Launch System rocket, the ESA-provided service module will fuel and propel the capsule on its journey through space. Exploration Mission-1 in 2017 will be the first mission to incorporate both the Orion vehicle and NASA's new Space Launch System. It will follow the upcoming Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014, in which an uncrewed Orion will launch atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket and fly 3,600 miles above Earth's surface, farther than a human spacecraft has gone in 40 years.

NASA-ESA agreement on Orion Service Module
for one unit, plus spares

Marcia Smith

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) provided more details today of their agreement for ESA to provide the service module for NASA's Orion spacecraft.

ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain announced the plan following ESA's ministerial meeting in November.  Dordain extolled its significance both in terms of demonstrating ESA's commitment to partner with NASA in human exploration of space beyond low Earth orbit and in NASA allowing other countries to be in the "critical path" of the U.S. human spaceflight program.

At a press conference today, NASA and ESA officials continued to tout the importance of the agreement, although as details emerge it seems less dramatic than at first glance.

Read the full article, HERE.

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