Paris, 8 February 2017
Call for Media: Signing of industrial contract for Orion spacecraft’s first astronaut mission
A European Service Module will power NASA’s Orion spacecraft beyond the Moon and back in 2018. ESA and Airbus Defence and Space have agreed with NASA to build a second module for a second mission with astronauts for launch as early as 2021.
Humans are going to leave low orbit for the first time since 1972 and European hardware will provide propulsion, electrical power, water, thermal control and atmosphere for the crew of up to four.
The agreement is a further extension of ESA and NASA’s collaboration in human spaceflight continuing from the International Space Station and a strong recognition of Airbus and ESA expertise.
ESA will sign the contract with Airbus Defence and Space to build the second European Service Module at the integration hall in Bremen, Germany, where the first module is already being built.
ESA’s Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, David Parker, will be present, together with ESA’s latest astronaut recruit, Matthias Maurer.
To witness the signing of the Orion European Service Module contract, you are cordially invited to a
on Thursday 16 February 2017
at 11:00 CET
at Airbus Defence and Space
The press conference will feature:
• David Parker, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration
• James Free, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.
• Nicolas Chamussy, Airbus, Head of Airbus Defence and Space
• Representative from DLR German Aerospace Center (tbd)
• Bremen Senate representative (tbd)
• ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer