Coming to America: Orion’s European Service Module Arrives for First Mission

NASA is inviting media to its Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9 a.m. EST Friday, Nov. 16, for an event marking the arrival from Bremen, Germany, of the European Service Module – the powerhouse that will supply NASA’s Orion spacecraft with electricity, propulsion, thermal control, air and water. 

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and ESA (European Space Agency) Director General Jan Wörner, as well as other senior leaders from NASA and ESA will discuss with media the international cooperation needed to send humans to the Moon and Mars. The event will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Following remarks, media will have the opportunity to speak with subject matter experts and tour Kennedy facilities until approximately 12:30 p.m. to get a glimpse of the work underway to prepare for the first launch of Orion and NASA’s Space Launch System, including Exploration Ground Systems.

Technicians work underneath the European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft to complete final preparations before shipment to the United States.
Credits: ESA/A. Conigli

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For the first time, NASA will use a European-built system as a critical element to power an American spacecraft, extending the international cooperation of the International Space Station into deep space. The European Service Module is a unique collaboration across space agencies and industry including ESA’s prime contractor, Airbus, and 10 European countries. The completion of service module work in Europe and shipment to Kennedy signifies a major milestone toward NASA’s human deep space exploration missions to the Moon and beyond. 

At Kennedy, the service module will undergo integration with the Orion crew module, built by prime contractor Lockheed Martin, in preparation for Exploration Mission-1– a flight test farther into space than any human spacecraft has ventured.

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