ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft

Jan 17, 2013
ATV. Credit: Edoardo Amaldi

(Phys.org)—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 .

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 . 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.

Orion.

"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 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 ." 

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 at a speed of 11 km/s ­– the fastest reentry ever.

Watch a replay of the press briefing below:


Explore further: Bright points in Sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Jules Verne ATV launch approaching

Feb 11, 2008

After the successful launch of ESA’s Columbus laboratory aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis on Thursday (7 February), it is now time to focus on the next imminent milestone for ESA: the launch of Jules Verne, ...

Successful re-entry marks bright future for ATV

Sep 29, 2008

Europe’s first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Jules Verne successfully completed its six-month ISS logistics mission today with its controlled destructive re-entry over a completely uninhabited area of ...

Jules Verne reaches 'parking' orbit

Mar 19, 2008

Jules Verne ATV has today reached a parking position 2000 km ahead of the International Space Station. Europe's ISS re-supply spacecraft will wait at this holding point for the completion of the STS-123 Space ...

Unique three-way partnership for ATV ground control

Feb 26, 2008

Shortly after its planned 8 March launch to the ISS, ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle will make the first-ever laser-guided docking in space. The vehicle's fully automated docking provides unique challenges to the multi-agency ...

Recommended for you

Astronauts to reveal sobering data on asteroid impacts

10 hours ago

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… ...

Rosetta instrument commissioning continues

11 hours ago

We're now in week four of six dedicated to commissioning Rosetta's science instruments after the long hibernation period, with the majority now having completed at least a first initial switch on.

Astronaut salary

11 hours ago

Talk about a high-flying career! Being a government astronaut means you have the chance to go into space and take part in some neat projects—such as going on spacewalks, moving robotic arms and doing science ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Apr 16, 2014

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dschlink
5 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2013
An excellent reuse of the ATV. It should greatly improve the early Orion missions by extending them without modifying the baseline module.

More news stories

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Hubble image: A cross-section of the universe

An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...