The European module for the Moon – Space & Astronomy


A European module will accompany the return of humans to the Moon in 2024, as part of the third mission of NASA’s Artemis program. This was announced by the European Space Agency (ESA), which has signed a contract with Airbus for the construction of the third European Service Module (ESM) for NASA’s Orion shuttle.

The last human landing on the Moon occurred in December 1972 with the Apollo 17 mission. By imagining the Orion shuttle as a space house, the European module represents its first floor. With its 20,000 components, it will provide everything that is needed to keep astronauts alive during the journey in the housing module: water, air, propulsion with almost 9 tons of fuel, electricity with its 4 solar panels and a comfortable temperature.

“By entering into this agreement, we again demonstrate that Europe is a strong and reliable partner of Artemis,” commented David Parker, ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration. “The European service module represents a crucial contribution, which will allow scientific research, the development of key technologies and international cooperation. Inspiring – added Parker – missions that will expand man’s presence beyond the Earth’s low orbit. ”

As part of the contract between ESA and Airbus, Thales Alenia Space (Thales-Leonardo) will supply, in particular, the European module with fundamental systems for structural and micrometeorite protection, for thermal control and storage, and for the distribution of consumables. For Massimo Comparini, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Italy, “the future of space exploration depends, in fact, on the perfect synergy between robustness of technology, safety and comfort of astronauts”.


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