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  [Discuss] ESA to supply service module for Orion

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] ESA to supply service module for Orion
Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-22-2012 2:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: In an effort to keep the topic ESA to supply service module for NASA's Orion focused on status updates, readers' feedback and opinions have been moved to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss the Orion service module as ESA develops it for NASA's next generation crewed spacecraft.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 11-22-2012 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The European Space Agency (ESA) apparently decided to accept NASA's invitation to work on a service module for the Orion's crew module.
ESA also decided to move forward with supplying the Service Module for NASA's Orion. "For the first time, ESA is developing a cruise vehicle together with NASA," said ESA spokesman Franco Bonacina. The Service Module will be based on ESA's ATV cargo ship that supplies the International Space Station. The historic move commits ESA to a long term cooperation with NASA in human space exploration. It was largely made possible by an increased funding commitment from the United Kingdom of 20 million euros towards the initiative. ESA has made arrangements with NASA to allow the Service Module to constitute ESA's payment in kind for the ISS for 2017-2020. The move had generated some controversy due to the resulting designation of ESA as a subcontractor, which many feared would be off-putting to the general public.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-22-2012 02:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spaceflight Now further reports on ESA's commitment to supply the Orion service module.
The initial investment, worth $320 million over the next two years, will start development of a propulsion and power module for the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, or MPCV.

Britain, which has eschewed contributing the space station in the past, put the proposal over the top with a pledge to pay 20 million euros, or about $25 million, for the service module.

Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA's director general, said the development could help a European astronaut secure a spot on Orion crews bound for deep space, the moon, or asteroids. The European-built service module will contain fuel tanks, provide propulsion, and hold Orion's solar panels to generate electricity. NASA plans to provide a maneuvering engine to mount on the service module.

GACspaceguy
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posted 11-22-2012 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
During the Atlantis roll over NASA had a temporary building set up (geodesic dome) and was showing "the future of NASA" on the ceiling.

In one scene they had the Orion docked to an ESA ATV. I thought is was a neat concept, but it is looking like it is starting to come together as a plan.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 11-23-2012 05:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is a great and logical step forward that really could lead to grand ventures.

Just a pity that the UK could only stump up less than 10% of the development cost, when the government wants a £30 billion space industry by 2030. But then talk is cheap... and the government will be long gone by 2030.

carl walker
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posted 01-14-2013 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for carl walker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keep watching here...

dom
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posted 11-18-2014 05:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The BBC is reporting that ESA is to provide a service module (based on its ATV) for future missions. So is Orion now officially a joint US-European spacecraft?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-18-2014 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The news isn't so much that ESA is providing the Orion service module, as that was decided and announced last year, but that ESA has contracted Airbus as the SM's prime contractor.

Headshot
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From: Streamwood, IL USA
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posted 11-18-2014 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So will the ESA-supplied service module be equipped with an engine capable of kicking Orion out of lunar orbit, or away from a Lagrange Point, for a return flight to Earth?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-18-2014 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The service module will be equipped with a NASA-provided orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engine from the space shuttle program.
quote:
Originally posted by dom:
So is Orion now officially a joint US-European spacecraft?
Yes, though for now, ESA is only providing the service module for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) and the parts for EM-2. From SpaceNews:
Under the contract, valued at 390 million euros ($488 million), Airbus will design and build one service module and build parts for a second to acquit ESA of its space station maintenance dues to NASA between 2017 and 2020.

...the two agencies have said they hope to extend the Orion partnership beyond a first unmanned flight. But for now, ESA has been unable to secure its member states' commitment to the station beyond 2020 — and even 2020 is subject to final approval.

The NASA-ESA Orion agreement stops at provision of hardware for a second service module, which could be assembled in the United States by a U.S. contractor in the event the agreement is not extended.

ESA governments are scheduled to meet Dec. 2 to formalize their commitment to station operations to 2020 and to complete the financial backing needed for the Orion service module.

Headshot
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From: Streamwood, IL USA
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posted 11-18-2014 06:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the reply Robert, but I am confused.

This means that Orion, which is more than twice as heavy as Apollo, will be powered by an engine that produces less than half the thrust of the Apollo engine?

It does not make sense to me. What am I missing?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-18-2014 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Apollo SM engine was overbuilt. Quoting Wikipedia for convenience:
The thrust level was twice what was needed to accomplish the lunar orbit rendezvous (LOR) mission mode, because the engine was originally sized to lift the CM with a much larger SM off of the lunar surface in the direct ascent mode assumed in original planning.

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