Dear readers and followers,
The contract for Airbus of about 390 million euros is for the development and construction of the service module for Orion, the future American human space capsule. The service module will provide propulsion, power supply, thermal control and the central elements of the life support system of the American capsule.
Credit image: +NASA
It is the first time that Europe has been involved in providing system-critical elements for an American space project. In December 2012, US space agency +NASA and +European Space Agency, ESA had agreed to certify the new US Orion spacecraft in conjunction with the European service module.
Francois Auque, Head of Space Systems, told BOB fm: "This follow-on contract is a mark of confidence in our expertise as well as in our ability to deliver reliable state-of-the-art space systems on time and within budget. Thanks to this programme and the continuous investments we make, we are able to maintain our technological lead.
Credit image: +European Space Agency, ESA
In the wake of the ATV's outstanding five flawless missions to the ISS, this programme is yet another example of the important role that Europe plays globally in the field of human space flight".
The intention is to use the Orion space capsule for human missions to the Moon, to asteroids and into the depths of space. It comes after the success of Stevenage-built spaceship Rosetta, that was able to carry probe Philae close enough to land it on a comet last week. With him was the UK's first astronaut, Tim Peake - who told BOB fm at the Exo-Mars test yard that he was fascinated by flying when working as a test-pilot.
He added: "It's great to see the Mars Yard at Stevenage Airbus has expanded. It's amazing to see the Mars programme progressing towards its launch in 2016".
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