NASA and ESA to announce new collaboration to send astronauts beyond Earth orbit

Proposal for MPCV-SM
10 January 2013

NASA and ESA will brief media at 17:30 CET on Wednesday 16 January on the details for ESA to provide a service module for the first Orion spacecraft mission in 2017. European media are invited to watch the event and can ask questions.

Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed and carry astronauts farther into space than ever before. ESA’s service module will be based on the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). Sitting directly below Orion’s crew capsule, it will provide propulsion, power, thermal control, as well as supplying water and atmosphere for the astronauts in the habitable module.

Automated Transfer Vehicles have been resupplying the International Space Station since 2008. The fourth in the series, ATVAlbert Einstein, is being readied for launch this year from Kourou, French Guiana.

The agreement expands on the solid partnership developed through the International Space Station programme and other activities and continues international collaboration for human exploration further into our Solar System.

Participants to the news conference include:

-- William H. Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations

-- Thomas Reiter, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations

-- Mark Geyer, NASA Orion Program Manager

-- Bernardo Patti, ESA Manager of International Space Station Operations

To participate via the phone, reporters must contact the Johnson newsroom at +1.281.483.5111 no later than 10:15 a.m. the day of the briefing. Media will not be able to connect after the briefing has started.

The press conference can be viewed via NASA TV.

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