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Orion Spacecraft Engine Module to Be Shown on November 16

Originally scheduled to arrive in the United States by the end of October, the European Service Module meant for the NASA Orion spacecraft will not be making its official debut until mid-November.
View of the European Service Module from underneath 1 photo
Both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) say November 16 is the date when the module will be shown on American soil, as media has been invited on that date to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to mark the arrival of the component.

The European Service Module is the assembly that contains, among other crucial components, the engines that will be powering the Orion.

Measuring four meters long, it includes the main engine of the ship, a repurposed shuttle powerhouse named Orbital Maneuvering System, as well as tanks for gas and propellant. The tanks of the module are there to house oxygen, nitrogen, and water, as well as fuel.

ESA says that after its integration into the Service Module, the engine will be capable of generating 25.7 kN of force and is backed by eight thrusters developing 490 N each. These are used for orbit corrections and as a backup.

An additional 24 smaller engines grouped into six pods that can be fired individually to provide attitude control.

The joint project between NASA and ESA will see the American agency use a European-built system as a critical element in one of their spacecraft for the first time in history.

The European Service module is the result of a collaboration between several large companies from ten European states, including ESA’s longtime partner and contractor Airbus.

The actual integration with the Orion spacecraft will be in the hands of Lockheed Martin. The first test of the capsule and the Space Launch System rocket (SLS will be conducted when the Exploration Mission-1 takes off sometime in 2020 for an unmanned trip around the Moon.

 

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