Space

Airbus Defence and Space makes key contribution to NASA’s mission to fly people beyond the Moon

In the first major European contribution to a NASA space mission, Airbus Defence and Space is building the European Service Module (ESM) that will power the Orion spacecraft.

NASA wants to use Orion to transport people to the Moon and beyond – and bring them safely back to the Earth. The ESM is an essential part of the spacecraft that will power, propel, and cool Orion in deep space as well as provide air and water for crew members.

NASA wouldn’t be able to go ahead with its ambitious plans without reaction control and auxiliary thrusters, known as the Reaction Control System (RCS), manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space.

A total of 24 thrusters arranged in six clusters will ensure Orion has no trouble adjusting its trajectory or entering and leaving orbit around planets and other celestial bodies. Each of them delivers some 200 N of thrust. Measuring 100 mm in diameter and 300 mm in length, the thrusters are fitted with a multitude of sensors and form part of the ESM. 

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