At the European Service Module integration halls in Bremen, Germany, stands the structure for the fifth spacecraft that will fly for Artemis to the Moon. The European Service Module-5 structure arrived from Turin, Italy, and is set to be further built up with 12 km of cables connecting 20 000 parts to form the powerhouse for the Orion spacecraft.

In addition to taking astronauts to the Moon, the Artemis V mission will bring the second European module to the lunar Gateway: the refuelling module ESPRIT. ESPRIT will be a habitable space for astronauts with cargo space and fuel tanks to store propellant for the Gateway as well as windows for the astronauts to gaze out of. The module will be part of the lunar Gateway’s core structure and has roughly the same diameter as the Orion spacecraft that will tug it into position.

ESPRIT’s purpose starts before it becomes a part of Gateway and is an example of the integral part of the Orion spacecraft for Artemis. ESPRIT transports cargo to the Gateway piggy-backing of the Artemis V launch.

With the smooth running of the Artemis I mission that saw the first Orion spacecraft fly to the Moon and back without astronauts, things are ramping up for humankind’s sustained presence around our natural satellite. The second European Service Module is getting ready to connect to the crew capsule completing the full stack that is the Orion spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in USA.

This year there are no less than three European Service Module’s lined up and in production in the Airbus integration halls. The third service module for Artemis is finalising production and will be shipped to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center later this year.

The fourth European Service Module is in the integration hall next door. This hardware will power four astronauts and the first European Gateway module around the Moon, I-Hab, similarly to its younger sibling the European Service Module-5.

ESA-A. Conigli

Source: Auto Draft