Tag Archives: service module

Airbus begins assembly Orion service module

My heart be still! Airbus has announced that it is beginning assembly of the first Orion capsule service module.

Considering the cost to build about three Orion flight capsules, about $25 billion, one would think that would be enough to also build the capsule’s service module, especially since this is not cutting edge technology, having already been done with Apollo.

Not however when you are dealing with pork-laden government operations, where the customer, the taxpayer, is a good mark that you can suck for as much money as possible without any bad consequences. Make it sound cool and they will buy it, hook, line, and sinker!

Chinese service module journeys to and from Moon

The competition heats up: The service module of China’s first lunar return capsule, launched and successfully returned to Earth in November, is returning to lunar orbit after journeying to L2 more than 35,000 miles from the Moon.

After testing its maneuvering ability at L2, engineers are now moving it back to lunar orbit for further tests.

NASA’s first test flight of both the Orion capsule and the heavy-lift SLS rocket in 2017 might be delayed because of design problems with the European-built service module.

I am shocked, shocked! NASA’s first test flight of both the Orion capsule and the heavy-lift SLS rocket in 2017 might be delayed because of design problems with the European-built service module.

Overweight and struggling with design delays, the European-built service module for the Orion crew exploration vehicle may not be ready for a much-anticipated test flight by the end of 2017. The preliminary design review for the Orion spacecraft’s critical engine and power element is now on track for May after a six-month delay to contend with weight issues, according to Thomas Reiter, director of the European Space Agency’s human spaceflight and operations programs.

I am willing to bet that SpaceX will put astronauts in space on Dragonrider before this unmanned SLS flight occurs.

A service module to nowhere

As a replacement for its discontinued ATV cargo freighter — which paid its share of ISS — Europe has decided to build a service module for the Orion capsule.

This decision occurred at the same time ESA decided to upgrade Ariane 5 rather than replace it. Both decisions, to my mind, were serious mistakes.
» Read more