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ESA contracted to build NASA's Orion service module


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#1 DocM

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:00

Teaming up for beyond Earth orbit exploration -


http://spaceref.com/....html?pid=39810

ESA Workhorse to Power NASA's Orion Spacecraft

ESA agreed with NASA today to contribute a driving force to the Orion spacecraft planned for launch in 2017. Ultimately, Orion will carry astronauts further into space than ever before using a module based on Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle technology. Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATVs) have been resupplying the International Space Station since 2008. The fourth in the series, ATVAlbert Einstein, is being readied for launch next year from Kourou, French Guiana.

The ATV-derived service module, sitting directly below Orion's crew capsule, will provide propulsion, power, thermal control, as well as supplying water and gas to the astronauts in the habitable module. This collaboration between ESA and NASA continues the spirit of international cooperation that forms the foundation of the International Space Station.

ATV is a versatile showcase of European technology performing many functions during a mission to the International Space Station. The space freighter reboosts the Station and can even push the orbital complex out of the way of space debris. While docked, ATV becomes an extra module for the astronauts. Lastly, at the end of its mission it leaves the Space Station with waste materials.
v "ATV has proven itself on three flawless missions to the Space Station and this agreement is further confirmation that Europe is building advanced, dependable spacecraft," said Nico Dettmann, Head of ATV's production programme.

Thomas Reiter, ESA director of Human Spaceflight and Operations says: "NASA's decision to cooperate with ESA on their exploration programme with ESA delivering a critical element for the mission is a strong sign of trust and confidence in ESA's capabilities, for ESA it is an important contribution to human exploration."

Dan Dumbacher, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA headquarters in Washington DC, agrees: "It is a testament to the engineering progress made to date that we are ready to begin integrating designs of an ESA-built service module with Orion."

The first Orion mission will be an uncrewed lunar fly-by in 2017, returning to Earth atmosphere at a speed of 11 km/s - the fastest reentry ever.


Orion with ESA service module
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Exploded diagram of launch configuration
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With Earth departure stage
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#2 Brandon C.

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 03:11

Makes me want to play Kerbal Space Program now.

I can't wait to see it launch.

#3 IsItPluggedIn

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:10

Looks good, but I'm not holding my breath on this, with NASA's current track record of completing projects.

Also Nico Dettmann sounds so full of himself, his whole statement was pretty much just stating how good he thinks they are.

#4 OP DocM

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:05

I've read a few statements by Dettmann that sounded that way. Dunno if it's intentional or if it's just poor phrasing, but his name & ego have been used in the same sentence on space forums before ;)

As to this proposal; it makes political sense, "international cooperation" and all, but programmatically it could cause complications or even delays if the right hand & left hand get out of synch. Orion needs that kind of complication like a hold in the head given its cost & mass overruns, launcher issues etc.

#5 OP DocM

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 19:19

Concept video of the Orion EM-1 (Earth-Moon One) mission, launched using the SLS (Space Launch System) super-heavy rocket and with the ESA service module. EM-1 is essentially a rerun of Apollo 8.



#6 OP DocM

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 16:09

http://www.spacenews...ayed-six-months

ESA Work on Orion Propulsion System Delayed Six Months

PARIS — The European Space Agency (ESA) on Nov. 22 announced that its work on the propulsion module for NASA’s Orion crew-transport vehicle has been slowed by a further six months as it considers design tradeoffs.

As a result, ESA said, the preliminary design review for the Orion propulsion system will not be completed until May 2014. “The overall effect on the project’s schedule is still under investigation,” ESA said. The first flight with the ESA-produced propulsion module for Orion had been scheduled for 2017.

Nico Dettman, head of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle program — the space station cargo carrier from which ESA is borrowing much Orion propulsion module technology — said in a statement: “We need more time to look at options and ensure we make the right design decisions at this stage.



#7 flyingskippy

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:02

Has NASA ever said how they plan on protecting Orion's crew from radiation on a deep space mission like one beyond the moon to Mars?

#8 macrosslover

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:23

Has NASA ever said how they plan on protecting Orion's crew from radiation on a deep space mission like one beyond the moon to Mars?

I remember a recent article where they stated that they don't have the shielding technology yet to protect the astronauts from radiation on a trip to Mars.  The astronauts would basically receive a fatal dose of radiation unless they could develop better shielding technology or an extremely fast propulsion system to minimize their time in space.



#9 OP DocM

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:46

Not quite correct.

First, the dose is measured in millisieverts (mSv). NASA's guidelines are that an astronauts lifetime dose should not exceed 1,000 mSv (or 1 Sv), which is associated with a 5% increase in the risk of fatal cancers.

According to the latest data from Curiosity's Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD), astronauts on a 360 day round trip would be exposed to 662 mSv. About the same as having a whole body CT scan per week. This seems under the limit, but a solar flare during the mission could put them well over the top.

Not necessarily fatal unless it were an X-class flare, but a higher risk of cancer than is deemed acceptable.

There are shields that could drastically reduce this, including an artificial magnetosphere to surround spacecraft and habitats with water blankets in theire walls (Bigelow), but they haven't been tested in space yet. These tests are likely in the next few years.

#10 Dot Matrix

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 02:57

NASA is a shadow of its former self. Personally, I think it's time to blow it away and start over with a better administration that actually flies to space, and takes the initiative to be a leader in scientific research. 



#11 macrosslover

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:03

This is the article I read.http://www.usatoday....likely/2847577/



#12 OP DocM

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:04

We're talking 2 different missions, 360 day vs 500 day. Different assumptions, different risks.

Blame Conngress, both parties, for the last 45 years and Richard Nixon for cancelling NASA's Mars plans for after Apollo. They had a nuclear interplanetary engine all ready to go.

#13 Dot Matrix

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:06

Blame Conngress, both parties, for the last 45 years and Richard Nixon for cancelling NASA's Mars plans for after Apollo. They had a nuclear interplanetary engine all ready to go.

We're too concerned with upsetting the religious right nutjobs to get anything done over here anymore. God forbid science be allowed to thrive. 



#14 OP DocM

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:12

The religious right isn't the issue, even the Tea Party largely supports NASA. Those on both sides who want to divert NASA's budget for pork projects in their own districts are the problem. Many of these are actually liberals who would love to spend that money on social programs.

#15 Dot Matrix

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 03:27

it is part of the issue. We're loosing out on science in the class rooms, especially in the south. Without science in our class rooms, NASA doesn't have much of a future left, let alone Orion.