ESA writes on Tuesday 26 May announcing that the European Space Agency has “signed a contract with Airbus” to build the third ESM for NASA’s Orion spacecraft that will transport astronauts to our natural satellite.
The ESA service module will have the task of ensuring a trip as comfortable as possible for the crew by providing them with water, air, electricity, propulsion, a suitable temperature.
NASA’s third Artemis mission is expected to bring humans back to the Moon in 2024 after the last moon landing with Apollo 17 in December 1972 (7 – 19 December), or 52 years after the last time.
20 thousand components for a single ESM
A single European service module consists of as many as 20 thousand components, from the smallest electrical parts to the engine components, passing through photovoltaic panels and fuel tanks, without forgetting all the essential equipment for the survival of astronauts.
A house that weighs as much as 5 elephants
The ESA lunar service module plus the crew module weigh as much as 5 adult elephants (25,848 kg), and are as tall as a single-family house (7.3 meters).
The only service module is the heaviest part of the system, having to house the motor, the service equipment and the four photovoltaic panels: 15,461 kg.
The ISS teaches
All of ESA’s expertise and experience in refueling trips to the International Space Station (ISS) will now be poured into the service module that will accompany astronauts to the Moon in 2024.
Why the third module?
The module that will bring astronauts to the Moon in 2024 will be the third because the first was built and delivered to NASA (located in the Kennedy Space Center) and will fly next year for an unmanned test. The second module is in production at Airbus plants in Bremen, Germany.