Human Spaceflight: The Orion Spacecraft Propulsion System Ready for Testing

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
propelling

Propelling Orion

ESA released on Feb. 22, that even the most complex of systems comes down to properly configured wires and cables, such as those pictured here on the Propulsion Qualification Model of the Orion service module.

ESA’s contribution to NASA’s Orion spacecraft is the European Service Module, designed to provide the spacecraft’s propulsion, electrical power, water and thermal control. The model, designed by Airbus Defence and Space, was assembled by OHB Sweden.

Made from steel and containing propellant and helium tanks, among various electronics and command systems, the Propulsion Qualification Model allows engineers to determine how well systems are working together.

The model was built in January in Stockholm, Sweden and has since been shipped to the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico (USA), where it will undergo more extensive testing by NASA, ESA and main contractor Airbus DS.

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