Set to be shipped to the USA in the first half of 2018, ESA’s contribution to NASA’s Orion spacecraft is taking shape at Airbus in Bremen, Germany. This is no test article: the service module pictured here will fly into space, past the Moon and farther than any other human-rated spacecraft has ever flown before.
The service module will supply electricity, water, oxygen and nitrogen, propulsion and temperature control.
The blue circular frame is the support structure that holds the module as technicians work to get it ready. Yellow ties (removed before flight) keep the 11 km of wiring in place as the thousands of components are installed and connected. Behind the red support covers are the eight 490 N R-4D-11 thrusters, built by Aerojet.
Technicians are working in three shifts a day to assemble the components that are being shipped from all over Europe to complete this service module.
Read more about the Orion mission and Europe’s involvement on the minisite.