Raumfahrt - SLS Raumschiff ORION Update-33



The European Service Module that will power and propel the Orion spacecraft on its first mission around the Moon will ship early next week from Bremen to the United States. It will take off in an Antonov An-124 aircraft in the early hours of 5 November and arrive at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US on 6 November.


The European Service Module that will power and propel the Orion spacecraft on its first mission around the Moon will ship early next week from Bremen to the United States. It will take off in an Antonov An-124 aircraft in the early hours of 5 November and arrive at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, US on 6 November.

Designed and manufactured in Italy and Germany, the powerful workhorse is Europe’s contribution to humanity’s return to the Moon. 

Trusted partner

For the first time, NASA will use a European-built system as a critical element to power an American spacecraft, thanks in large part to ESA’s successful Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme that brought supplies to the International Space Station.

The knowledge gained by ESA and European industry from designing, building and operating the complex and successful Automated Transfer Vehicle missions was instrumental for ESA’s participation in NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

The unit resembles ATV, from which it evolved. Three types of engine will propel Orion to its destination and can turn it in all directions to align the spacecraft as needed.

Inside the European Service Module, large tanks hold fuel as well consumables for the astronauts: oxygen, nitrogen and water.

Radiators and heat exchangers keep the astronauts and equipment at a comfortable temperature, while the module’s structure is the backbone of the entire vehicle, like a car chassis.

The European Service Module was built by main contractor Airbus Defence and Space, with many companies all over Europe supplying components.

The final product recently completed final integration and testing in Europe

Next steps

View from below: Orion European Service Module-1

Once at Kennedy Space Center, the European Service Module will be connected to the Orion crew module and its adapter in preparation for Exploration Mission-1 – a test flight without astronauts that will travel farther into space than any human-rated spacecraft has ventured. The mission is expected to launch in 2020.

Work is already underway on the second European Service Module that will power a crewed mission around the Moon.

The Orion spacecraft will eventually launch together with components of the Gateway, a human-tended outpost in lunar orbit that will aid human and robotic exploration of the Moon.

Quelle: ESA


San Diego Ship Testing Recovery Procedures for NASA’s Orion Spacecraft


Navy personnel attach lines to the Orion spacecraft mock-up in an earlier test in the Pacific off San Diego. Navy photo

The amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha left San Diego Tuesday to assist a NASA team with the test recovery of a mockup of the Orion spacecraft. Support 

It’s the seventh in a series of tests of procedures and hardware that will be used to recover the spacecraft after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean following deep space exploration missions.

The Orion is designed to carry a crew of four beyond low-earth orbit, to the moon, nearby asteroids and perhaps Mars using NASA’s giant Space Launch System rocket. The next test flight is set for 2019, and the first flight with a crew is scheduled for 2021.

The series of recovery tests scheduled through early November will be the first time the John P. Murtha has been used. Other San Antonio-class ships have been involved in past tests. These ships have large well docks into which the capsule can be floated.

“Every recovery test allows the team to gather important data used to improve recovery procedures and hardware,” said Melissa Jones, NASA launch and recovery director. “The primary objective of this test is to prove the recovery equipment works as expected, and if it doesn’t, they have time to fix it before actual splashdown in a couple of years.”

During the sixth test in January, some tending lines snapped during Orion retrieval. The hardware involved has since be redesigned.

NASA plans to conduct two more recovery tests before the 2019 test flight takes place.


The USS John P. Murtha in San Diego Bay. Navy photo

Quelle: TIMES Of San Diego


Update: 3.11.2018


Orion's European propulsion module bound for Kennedy Space Center


Artist rendering of NASA's Orion crew capsule, powered by a European Space Agency service module, orbiting the moon.

The power plant that will propel NASA’s first Orion crew capsule around the moon is on its way across the pond from Europe to Kennedy Space Center.

At Airbus facilities in Bremen, Germany, on Friday, European Space Agency officials celebrated plans to ship Orion’s European Service Module on Monday, Nov. 5, in an Antonov cargo aircraft scheduled to arrive at KSC the next day.

“The ESA Service Module is a very critical part of Orion,” said Mark Kirasich, manager of NASA’s Orion Program. “Orion can’t go anywhere without it. All the systems need to work together very closely.”

The service module includes a main engine and thrusters that will allow Orion to escape Earth orbit out to the moon, maneuver in space and return home. The module also provides power, air conditioning and water and oxygen for the crew module.

At KSC's Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, the service module will be joined with a crew module to form the first Orion to be launched by NASA’s 322-foot Space Launch System rocket, in about two years.

Called Exploration Mission-1, or EM-1, the mission will carry Orion — with no crew on board — 40,000 miles beyond the moon, the farthest a spacecraft designed for humans has traveled since 1972. A second test flight, EM-2, is expected to fly Orion's first crew around the moon, possibly in 2022.

The service module measures about 13 feet tall and across and weighs 13 tons. Its more than 20,000 parts and components include more than a mile of cables and tubing. 

On Nov. 16, KSC will host NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, European Space Agency chief Jan Wörner and other dignitaries to celebrate the service module’s arrival in Florida.

Quelle: Florida Today


Airbus delivers first European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft


Europe is providing propulsion and life support systems for missions that will take astronauts beyond the Moon

Airbus is leading the European project team on behalf of ESA from Bremen, Germany

First mission in 2020 will herald a new era of human spaceflight

@NASA @Nasa_Orion @ESA @LockheedMartin #OrionESM @AirbusSpace


Bremen, 02 November 2018 – Airbus will deliver the first European Service Module (ESM) for NASA’s Orion spacecraft from its aerospace site in Bremen, Germany on 5 November 2018. An Antonov cargo aircraft will fly the ESM to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. This is the result of four years of development and construction, and represents the achievement of a key milestone in the project. ESA selected Airbus as the prime contractor for the development and manufacturing of the first ESM in November 2014.


The ESM is a key element of Orion, the next-generation spacecraft that will transport astronauts beyond low Earth orbit for the first time since the end of the Apollo programme in the 1970s. The module provides propulsion, power and thermal control and will supply astronauts with water and oxygen on future missions. The ESM is installed underneath the crew module.


“The delivery of the first European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft is a hugely significant moment, and NASA’s ground-breaking deep-space mission is continuing to pick up speed. Very soon, the crew module and the service module will come together for the first time at Kennedy Space Center, and integration and testing can then begin,” said Oliver Juckenhöfel, Head of On-Orbit Services and Exploration at Airbus. “Working on the Orion project has cemented our exceptional, efficient and close relationships with our customers, ESA and NASA, and with our industrial partner, Lockheed Martin Space. We are committed to further reinforcing the trust that ESA and NASA have already placed in our know-how and expertise when it comes to the development and construction of the first ESM. We have already begun work on the integration of the second service module in our clean rooms.”


The launch of the Orion spacecraft with NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket is known as Exploration Mission-1 and is scheduled for 2020. This mission will be uncrewed and will take the spacecraft more than 64,000 kilometres beyond the Moon in order to demonstrate its capabilities. The first human spaceflight mission, Exploration Mission-2, is planned for 2022.


The design of the Orion spacecraft enables astronauts to be transported further into Space than ever before. The spacecraft will transport the four astronauts into Space, providing life support for the crew during the flight and enabling a safe return to Earth’s atmosphere, at extremely high re-entry speeds. NASA will use this mission beyond the Moon to develop the capabilities to send humans to Mars – heralding a new era of human spaceflight.


More than 20,000 parts and components are installed in the ESM, from electrical equipment to engines, solar panels, fuel tanks and life support materials, as well as several kilometres of cables and tubing.


The ESM is a cylinder that is around four metres in both height and diameter. Comparable to the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV 2008 – 2015), also built by Airbus, it has a distinctive four-wing solar array (19 metres across when unfurled) that generates enough energy to power two households. The service module’s 8.6 tonnes of fuel can power one main engine and 32 smaller thrusters.


At launch, the ESM weighs a total of just over 13 tonnes. In addition to its function as the main propulsion system for the Orion spacecraft, the ESM will be responsible for orbital manoeuvring and position control. It also provides the crew with the central elements of life support such as water and oxygen, and regulates thermal control while it is docked to the crew module. Furthermore, the unpressurised service module can be used to carry additional payload.


During the development and construction of the ESM, Airbus has drawn on its extensive experience as prime contractor for ESA’s ATV, which provided the crew on board the International Space Station with regular deliveries of test equipment, spare parts, food, air, water and fuel.

Quelle: AIRBUS


Update: 7.11.2018




Welcome to America
7 November 2018

After a 24-hour journey from Bremen, Germany with stops in Hamburg and Portsmouth, USA, the European Service Module landed yesterday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The first service module is a key component that will see Orion around the Moon for Exploration Mission-1. It will make the powerful burns required to enter and exit lunar orbit as well as softer burns to allow for space manoeuvring and course correction.

After years of designing, building, and testing in Europe, the powerhouse that will propel NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the Moon will soon be mated with the rest of the spacecraft to undergo final testing before flight.

Made in Europe

Made in Europe

The European Service Module is a truly European endeavour. Primary components were built and integrated in Italy and Germany, with smaller components delivered from several European nations, including the solar arrays from the Netherlands.

ESA’s partnership with NASA takes this European effort to the global stage. 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 trust in European know-how is thanks to the successful Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) programme that provided reliable cargo deliveries to the Space Station.

ATV’s engineering and operational legacy were crucial to developing the European Service Module, which some of its flight-proven hardware, such as the auxiliary thrusters and pressurisation tanks. 

Next steps

Next up for the European Service Module is unloading and unpacking. The unit will be checked for integrity after its transatlantic flight and then unloaded in the Operations & Checkout (O&C) building at Kennedy Space Center.

Orion ESM shipment in Antonov aircraft

Some parts of the European Service Module have already been shipped by sea in two containers and are already awaiting the arrival of the larger air shipment. These include nozzle covers, heat shield, and insulation layers, among other components. The solar arrays will arrive in February 2019.

Once in the O&C, the European Service Module will be fitted to the Crew Module Adapter (CMA) to form the Orion Service Module. This process takes some time, as all fluid and gas pipes must be welded and electrical wiring connected. The crew module will then be mated with the service module and the completely integrated spacecraft will head to NASA Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook Station in Ohio for a 60-day test campaign. The entire spacecraft will be subjected to intense launch conditions in the world’s largest vacuum chamber. 

Once complete, the spacecraft will travel back to Kennedy Space Center to meet its launcher, the Space Launch Systems (SLS) rocket, and prepare for its first mission, a lunar orbital mission without astronauts, to demonstrate the spacecraft’s capabilities.

Work is already underway on the second European Service Module which will provide air, water, and temperature control for the astronauts that will fly on Orion’s Exploration Mission-2. 

ESA is immensely proud to play a crucial role in humanity’s return to the Moon, thanks to the hard work and determination of the many teams involved in bringing the European Service Module to this next step on the journey back to the Moon. 

Orion around the Moon
Quelle: ESA
Update: 8.11.2018

Recovery of the Test Orion Capsule in the Pacific Ocean


On Nov. 1, 2018, the USS John P. Murtha recovered the test version of the Orion capsule at sunset in the Pacific Ocean. The Underway Recovery Test-7 (URT-7) is one in a series of tests that the Exploration Ground Systems Recovery Team, along with the U.S. Navy, are conducting to validate procedures and hardware that will be used to recover the Orion spacecraft after it splashes down following deep space exploration missions. Orion will have the capability to sustain the crew during space travel, provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities, and emergency abort. 

Photo edited by NASA/Ron Beard, Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray

Quelle: NASA


Update: 15.11.2018


NASA to Broadcast Administrator’s Welcome for Orion’s European Powerhouse


Engineers and technicians from ESA (European Space Agency) and ESA contractor Airbus use a crane to uncrate the European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 6, 2018. The service module will provide power and propulsion for the Orion spacecraft for Exploration Mission-1, a three-week mission around the Moon. The service module also will house air and water for astronauts on future missions.
Credits: NASA/Bill White

NASA is hosting an event at its Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9 a.m. EST Friday, Nov. 16, to celebrate the arrival of the European Service Module for the agency’s Orion spacecraft. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will preside over the event, which will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.


Provided by ESA (European Space Agency) and built by ESA contractor Airbus Space, the service module will provide power, air and water to the Orion spacecraft on missions to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond. 


Speaking at the event are:


  • Janet Petro, deputy director of Kennedy
  • Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development
  • Sue Motil, Orion European Service Module integration manager at NASA’s Glenn Research Center
  • Mark Kirasich, Orion Program manager at the agency’s Johnson Space Center
  • Phillippe Deloo, European Service Module program manager at ESA
  • Jan Wörner, ESA director general


The service module departed Bremen, Germany, Monday, Nov. 5, and arrived at Kennedy the following day. A team at Kennedy will perform final outfitting, integration and testing of the service and crew modules, and other elements of Orion, in preparation for its first mission, an uncrewed test flight.

Quelle: NASA


Orion Recovery Team: Ready to ‘Rock and Roll’

quipment Passes Test


At night, on Nov. 1, 2018, a test version of the Orion capsule is pulled into the well deck of the USS John P. Murtha during Underway Recovery Test-7 (URT) in the Pacific Ocean. URT-7 is one in a series of tests conducted by the Exploration Ground Systems Recovery Team to verify and validate procedures and hardware that will be used to recover the Orion spacecraft after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean following deep space exploration missions.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett

A NASA and Department of Defense team returned from a week of training at sea to improve joint landing and recovering operations planned for crew aboard the agency’s Orion spacecraft from future deep space exploration missions.

Departing from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Exploration Ground Systems’ team embarked on the USS John P. Murtha, an amphibious U.S. Navy ship, in the Pacific Ocean with the main goal of ensuring all of their recovery equipment was up to the task. This round of testing was known as Underway Recovery Test-7, or URT-7.

Recovery ground support equipment includes the Orion Recovery Cradle Assembly, or ORCA, the cradle in which the spacecraft will ultimately set down; winch and rigging lines lovingly referred to as LLAMAs, short for Line Load Attenuating Mechanism Assembly; and even seemingly small items, such as tow pins. But ensuring all of the equipment works as planned and without damage to the spacecraft is no small task.

The integrated recovery team worked in tandem to put the equipment through its paces this past week — and NASA’s Jeremy Parr, lead design engineer, was on hand to evaluate testing.

“We had an amazing week,” Parr said when all the testing was done and the ship was headed back to shore. “From start to finish, we had some bumps, we took it slow and had some training days, but by the end of the week we were having almost perfect runs. And that’s because of the sailors and LLAMA operators — everyone was working together as a team.”

For the past five years, Parr and others have been working on the recovery concept. With the exception of the winch’s control system, everything has been designed and built in-house at Kennedy under Parr’s leadership — and it all passed muster.

The entire Landing and Recovery Team is led by NASA’s Melissa Jones. During URT-7, she was pleased to see all of the team’s hard work pay off. “Testing this week has gone extremely well,” she said.

The team performed the first complete recovery at night, which lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Jones chocked that up to lessons learned on possible complications of night operations and working with the ship and divers out in the open water in less-than-optimal conditions.

“The team continues to amaze me with their intelligence, determination, and tireless work ethic,” Jones said. “A huge thanks to the crew of the USS John P. Murtha for their help and hospitality. The success of this week would not have been possible without their positivity and can-do attitude.”

The crew aren’t the only ones with a positive attitude. Parr and the rest of the team are heading back to Kennedy with a renewed sense of accomplishment.

“I now have complete confidence in every piece of hardware that we have,” Parr said. “We’re ready to rock and roll for the recovery of Orion after Exploration Mission-1.”

Quelle: NASA


Update: 17.11.2018


Kennedy Space Center welcomes European 'powerhouse' for Orion deep space capsule

In two years or so, an engine will fire to propel NASA’s Orion capsule around the moon, farther out from Earth than any spacecraft designed to carry astronauts.

At Kennedy Space Center on Friday, in the high bay where Apollo capsules were prepared for launch, NASA and European officials celebrated the arrival of the “powerhouse” that will drive humanity’s next ride into deep space.

Orion’s European Service Module arrived from Germany on Nov. 6, a milestone achieved seven years after NASA partnered with the European Space Agency to provide the critical power and propulsion system.

“We will not go back to the moon, we will go forward to the moon,” said Jan Wörner, ESA's director general, during a ceremony in KSC’s Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. “We will go in a totally different way to the moon, not in competitive manner but in a very cooperative manner.”


At Kennedy Space Center on Friday, Jan Wörner, director general of the European Space Agency, joined guests celebrating the arrival of the European Service Module that will propel NASA's Orion deep space crew capsule around the moon, possibly in 2020.

Wrapped in a blue-tinted protective coating, the 30,000-pound module — still above the flight weight it must eventually reach — on Friday was suspended in a stand beneath an adapter that will connect to a crew module for the Exploration Mission-1 test flight.

NASA is targeting late 2020 for that mission’s blastoff, without a crew, from KSC’s pad 39B atop the space agency’s first Space Launch System rocket. Orion will fly 40,000 miles beyond the moon.

A crew of up to four astronauts could follow on Exploration Mission-2 in 2022 or 2023, after upgrades to the Orion including the addition of life support systems.

The service module's 20,000 parts include an engine — formerly used to maneuver space shuttles in orbit — and four solar array wings for electrical power. It will provide water, oxygen and air conditioning for crews.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Bill Hill, NASA’s associate administrator for Exploration Systems at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. “This positions us to be much closer to launch.”

The Orion program dates to 2006, when NASA chose Lockheed Martin as its prime contractor. After the Obama administration canceled NASA’s Constellation return-to-the-moon program, the service module project was offered to Europe — putting the continent in the "critical path" of an American spaceship’s development for the first time.

NASA expects to spend $11.3 billion to produce a crew-ready Orion by April 2023. That total does not include Europe’s cost to provide the service module, which was not confirmed Friday.

Officials on Friday touted the benefits of cooperation in deep space exploration, building upon the legacy of the International Space Station, whose first module launched 20 years ago next Tuesday.

“We feel very optimistic also for the future, that we can deliver together something that each of us could not do, or would not do, alone,” said Wörner. “I think our Pale Blue Dot, as it’s called, deserves this type of cooperation beyond national borders.”

The European Space Agency and its prime contractor, Airbus Defense and Space, said the overcame “enormous” challenges working across the Atlantic Ocean to develop the halves of Orion that must fit together and work seamlessly in space. And they acknowledged that the service module remains a work in progress.

One of the bigger challenges: committing to a weight loss program.

“We have been on a diet for about seven years,” joked Phillippe Deloo, ESA’s European Service Module program manager. “We had to take some shortcuts because of the schedule, but we have plans for the future modules to be compliant.”

In the coming months, the first European Service Module will undergo a battery of tests before being joined with the Crew Module assembled at KSC by Lockheed Martin, a milestone tentatively planned next May.

The Orion will be shipped to Ohio for tests in the world’s largest thermal vacuum chamber, and eventually be turned over to KSC teams that will place it atop the first Space Launch System rocket.

“So get ready, it’s coming, it’s coming really quick,” said Mark Kirasich, NASA’s Orion program manager. “The next stop after that, by the way, is the moon.”

Quelle: Florida Today


Update: 22.11.2018


Following ESM arrival at KSC, Orion kicks off final assembly for EM-1

The 404-day clock to connect, checkout, and test the first integrated Orion spacecraft for its flight to the Moon started in early November with the arrival of the European Service Module (ESM) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. All of the major Orion hardware for Exploration Mission-1 is in the Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building at KSC for the first time, where prime contractor Lockheed Martin will finish assembly.

There is essentially no padding in the year-long schedule, so technicians wasted no time unpacking the ESM and immediately began preparations to mate the U.S.-built Crew Module Adapter (CMA) to the top of the module.

The schedule calls for completion of assembly and checkout of the first integrated Orion, a series of tests of the new vehicle in Ohio, and final work back at KSC to hand it over to Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) for launch processing.

ESM assembly complete, flown to KSC

ESM Flight Model-1 (FM-1) arrived at KSC onboard an Antonov An-124 aircraft inside a transportation container, with the jumbo jet touching down at the Shuttle Landing Facility on November 6.

Completion of FM-1, the first ESM flight article, is a major milestone in Orion Program development and in the schedule to prepare for its launch on the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) test flight, currently forecast for 2020. Assembly, integration, and testing of FM-1 had been a primary or secondary critical path item in the EM-1 schedule.

Images of ESM FM-1 at the Airbus Assembly, Integration, and Testing facility in Bremen, Germany, during pre-shipment activities in early November, 2018. Credit: NASA/Rad Sinyak.

“I’m happy to get here, this has been a long time coming,” Exploration Systems Development (ESD) Deputy Associate Administrator Bill Hill said during an event on November 16 celebrating the ESM’s arrival. “What was more exciting though was just to see our test team and the smiles on their faces. Because it’s here, they’ve now got a chance to do their critical work.”

“With the delivery of this ESA (European Space Agency) Service Module we now finally have the element that allows us to take people farther into space than we’ve ever gone before, so it is a really big event for all of us in the Orion Program,” Mark Kirasich, NASA’s Orion Program Manager, added.

The ESM provides the equipment for propulsion and attitude control, long-duration power, thermal control, and consumables for the spacecraft and eventually multi-person crews on future missions. It forms the core of the overall Orion spacecraft’s Service Module (SM), which includes the CMA and aerodynamic launch fairings that are jettisoned during ascent.

The spacecraft that will fly the EM-1 test flight is the first with working versions of all the modules, minus the provisions for crew. The first Orion test flight, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) in late 2014, flew the first working Crew Module (CM) with mass simulators for the Service Module elements.

The shipping container holding the European Service Module (ESM) is moved out of the cargo hold of the Antonov cargo aircraft at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 6, 2018. Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux.

On EFT-1, the spacecraft remained attached to the upper stage of the Delta 4 Heavy launch vehicle until shortly before re-entry, flying a four-hour mission to an intermediate altitude Earth orbit. Orion will fly independently on EM-1 for the first time; following delivery by its Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle on a trans-lunar trajectory, the spacecraft will fly into a Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO) of the Moon and stay there for up to a few weeks before making a mirror image set of burns to return to Earth.

There is a lot of work to do to finish putting the EM-1 Orion spacecraft together and make sure it is functioning correctly. A 404-day schedule of assembly, checkout, and testing started when the ESM arrived in Florida, and the module was immediately taken off the An-124 transport and driven to the O&C building to start work.

“The plane landed at 11 am and by 4 pm the Service Module was in the building,” Kirasich said. “What we’re going to do now and what we’ll keep doing for the next several months is ‘integrate and test’ and ‘integrate and test’ to make sure that these vehicles function well together.”

Straight into CMA mate

After removal from the shipping container, the ESM went through a post-shipment functional test to verify everything was still working and then preparations began to attach the CMA to the top of the ESM. The CMA sits between the Crew Module and the ESM and provides the interfaces for command and control instructions from the flight computers in the CM to the ESM and for all of the supplies and data provided by the ESM to the CM.

The ESM and the CMA are the major elements of the overall Service Module (SM) and the first step in that assembly is structural attachment.

The Orion Crew Module and Service Module elements. The Service Module is surrounded and supported by panels jettisoned during launch and a Spacecraft Adapter cone that connects Orion to the launch vehicle. Credit: NASA.

Almost two-hundred bolts will mate the elements and the bolt holes are being lined up after the two elements were set up in a work stand. On the day of the ceremony celebrating the arrival of the ESM, the team was working on finishing alignment and getting ready to start bolting the CMA and the ESM together.

“The team has been aligning and doing the laser alignment of all those places,” Michael Hawes, Vice President and Orion Program Manager for Lockheed Martin, said. “We have done a little bit of repositioning, we’re about to the point we’re ready to start inserting those bolts.”

“There’s a couple of places where we think they’re not quite aligned, but the vast majority of them are so the team intends to go through and start actually doing that physical mate. I describe most of these pieces they’re a little jigsaw puzzle-like and so there’s a little bit of flexibility that we’ll work with but we need to get the primary mate done and that will be getting done within the next couple of days.”

Assembly and checkout of the combined Service Module will run into 2019, making all the connections between the ESM and the CMA and making sure the Service Module systems are all functioning to specification.

“Our first activity is here in the lift station, we are structurally mating the Crew Module Adapter with the European Service Module,” Amy Marasia, NASA EM-1 Orion Crew Module Assembly Lead, explained during the event.

“Once we do get the alignment correct, one-hundred and ninety-two bolts will be installed which will complete the structural mate. After that mate is complete, the Service Module will move to the clean room that’s right behind the lift station. In the clean room we will do more than thirty welds and twenty mechanical fitting connections to complete the propulsion and environmental control and life support systems.”

“To verify the integrity of those welds, we will move the Service Module to a proof pressure cell, where we will pressurize the systems with helium and check for leakage,” she added. “Once we pass those tests, we will move the Service Module a little further down the aisle in the factory to a multi-function station. Some additional components will be installed, those components are the star trackers, the cameras, and the phased array antennas.”

Image of the CMA-ESM mate from video taken in the O&C Building on November 14, 2018. In the background right is the enclosed clean room where the mated elements will be moved in the next phase of Service Module integration and testing. Credit: NASA/Rad Sinyak.

“After that, we do have a lot of electrical harness connections to do,” she continued. “That will basically mate the power, command, and data harnesses between the two modules; of those connections, sixty-eight of the mates involve the European Service Module harnesses. We will also then load the coolant systems with their fluids in preparation for functional testing.”

Following functional tests, Marasia noted the Service Module would then go into environmental testing: “We have a thermal cycle test planned for February and we do have an acoustic test planned for March. Once we successfully pass those tests and have some remaining assembly activities to do, the Service Module will be ready to integrate with the Crew Module in May of 2019.”

EM-1 Crew Module remaining work

On the other side of the clean room from where the Service Module is being mated in the O&C Building at Kennedy, the EM-1 Crew Module is also getting ready for mating with the Service Module next Spring.

“It’s probably ninety-seven, ninety-eight percent complete,” Kirasich said. “The component that has not been delivered yet is the hatch, the side hatch. That was a component that initially we weren’t going to fly on EM-1, we were going to put on a bolt-on cover, but a couple of years ago we found a way to fit it into our budget and pull it back from EM-2 to EM-1 so it’s bringing up the rear end in terms of our components.”

“The second thing is we’re doing our component qualification in parallel with the vehicle build, and in a couple of the qualification tests we found things that we decided that we should fix. For example, in our avionics components there were some inductors that we needed to isolate a little bit better, so we pulled boxes that we had already installed and tested.”

The EM-1 Crew Module in the O&C Building on November 14, 2018. The opening for the side hatch is seen center image. The side hatch is the last major hardware piece remaining to be installed on the module. Credit: NASA/Rad Sinyak.

“We pulled them off the vehicle and sent them back to the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers),” he added. “They’re getting repaired and they’ll be shipped back. We’re scheduled I believe to have all the boxes back I think it’s shortly after the first of the year.”

In contrast to all welded connections between the Service Module elements, the connections from the Crew Module to the Service Module have to be pyrotechnically separated at the end of the mission just prior to re-entry, so they aren’t as invasive. “It’s much simpler, we have the mechanical bolts, four of them, and then we have the umbilical that has some fluid [connections] and then some electrical harnesses go through the umbilical,” Kirasich noted.

Once the Crew and Service Modules are mated to form a full Orion spacecraft, functional testing will confirm a fully working assembly. “We’re actually going to do some power-on testing of the Service Module alone, but since everything really originates from the Crew Module, we’ll have Crew Module simulators,” he explained. “So once we mate the actual Crew Module, we’ll do functional checks of the entire integrated stack.”

The spacecraft will then be prepared for shipping to NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. The integrated stack will be wrapped up and reoriented for transport on NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft. “We use something call a ‘verticator,’ which takes it from the vertical and puts it horizontal and puts it in a plane,” Kirasich noted.

Another image of the EM-1 Crew Module in the O&C Building on November 14, 2018. The heatshield, which was installed in July, can be seen in the lower access level. Credit: NASA/Rad Sinyak.

At Plum Brook, this first integrated Orion will go through a series of environmental tests. “The Space Environment Complex there has the world’s largest vacuum chamber, it is about a hundred feet in diameter and a hundred and twenty-two feet high, and that is one of the reasons Orion chose that facility because of its size and its capability,” Sue Motil, NASA ESM Integration Manager at Glenn Research Center, said.

“We’re going to be conducting these tests probably over a seventy-two day period, I think sixty-seven days for thermal vac (thermal vacuum testing) and then we’ll do another five days on the EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) / EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility).”

Although a part of the testing at Plum Brook, the solar array wings will be removed during transportation; once back at KSC final installation will be completed, along with installation of the launch fairings on the Service Module. Final closeouts of Orion will also be made to turn the spacecraft over to EGS Spacecraft and Offline Operations for EM-1 launch preparations.

EGS will pick up Orion at the O&C Building and take it to first be loaded with propellant and other commodities for flight, and then to be attached to the Launch Abort System tower and structure to complete Orion’s launch configuration. The spacecraft will then be rolled into the Vehicle Assembly Building for stacking on top of SLS to complete the EM-1 vehicle.

EM-2 Crew Module structural outfitting, Delta CDR

A little farther down the O&C building, the crew module for Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) continues its structural outfitting. The pressure vessel that is the working and living compartment for the crew arrived in Florida at the end of August and is now inside the “birdcage” tool.

“It’s going along great,” Kirasich said. “The first thing it does when we get here we install what we call secondary structure, the things like gussets.”

Just down the aisle in the O&C Building from the EM-1 spacecraft elements, the EM-2 pressure vessel sits in the birdcage structural outfitting tool. Lockheed Martin technicians will be working to turn the structure into the first Orion Crew Module that will fly crew. Credit: NASA/Rad Sinyak.

“They are structures that we then attach other things to, so we’re in the process of putting all these gussets, these longerons on. And then once that’s complete, we take the crew module into…a proof pressure cell.”

“We put the crew module in there and we actually elevate the pressure internally of the crew module to make sure it is not only leak-tight but structurally sound,” he added. “So that’s next and then we bring it out and then we actually start putting components and welding fluid lines on it.”

The spacecraft to fly on EM-2 will be the first Orion fully-configured to support crewed missions, adding the complement of Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) and crew systems such as displays and controls that will support the requirement of flying a four-person crew for twenty-one days. That evolution in the Orion design is currently going through its Delta Critical Design Review (CDR).

A look inside the EM-2 pressure vessel on November 14, 2018, as it sat in the O&C Building. Once structural outfitting is complete, the pressure vessel will go through a proof-pressure test and then outfitting inside and outside will begin. Credit: NASA/Rad Sinyak.

“Our board is December 3rd, the pre-board is a week before,” Kirasich said. “I’m seeing the roll-up of the issues next week.”

“There are something like two-hundred writs submitted, so we’re almost there. Nothing huge, which is what you would expect this time. We had one CDR, this is the Delta.”

Quelle: NS

Raumfahrt+Astronomie-Blog von CENAP [-cartcount]