The ESM is a mission-critical component primarily developed and assembled in Bremen. It’s the kitchen, bathroom, storage, and power center of the Orion capsule all rolled into one. It contains the main engine and supplies power through four solar panels, regulates the climate and temperature in the spacecraft and stores fuel, oxygen and water supplies for the crew. In an interview with Spektrum.de “The fact that the United States is counting on us for the Artemis program is a huge vote of confidence in the performance of European space nations,” said Walter Pilzer, head of the German Space Agency, shortly after the launch. In Earth’s atmosphere, the ESM set the Orion capsule on course with a final thrust before it separated and burned up in the atmosphere.
In the coming days, Orion will return to Earth where engineering teams will offload the spacecraft and recharge it to Kennedy Space Center. Once there, teams will open the hatch and unload the valuable payload, including Commander Moneken Campos, astrobiology experiments, Snoopy and official flight gear. The capsule and its heat shield are then tested and analyzed over several months.
NASA Administrator Nelson said the goal now is to learn from other lunar missions to explore the universe. At the end of the 30s of our century, they wanted to take people to Mars – “and then further.” Unlike when the United States went it alone 50 years ago, this also became a “great day” for NASA’s international partners, Nelson emphasized. The European Space Agency (ESA) and space agencies from several other countries, including Germany, are participating in Artemis.
Communicator. Reader. Hipster-friendly introvert. General zombie specialist. Tv trailblazer