Airbus to deliver the first Orion service module to NASA this week

For many reasons, mostly political but partly ethical, I do not use Google, Facebook, Twitter. They practice corrupt business policies, while targeting conservative websites for censoring, facts repeatedly confirmed by news stories and by my sense that Facebook has taken action to prevent my readers from recommending Behind the Black to their friends.
Thus, I must have your direct support to keep this webpage alive. Not only does the money pay the bills, it gives me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

My heart be still! Airbus will deliver this week the first Orion service module to NASA.

Airbus will deliver the first European Service Module (ESM) for NASA’s Orion spacecraft from its aerospace site in Bremen, Germany on 5 November 2018. An Antonov cargo aircraft will fly the ESM to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. This is the result of four years of development and construction, and represents the achievement of a key milestone in the project. ESA selected Airbus as the prime contractor for the development and manufacturing of the first ESM in November 2014.

Four years to simply build a single manned capsule’s service module. At this pace we might be able to colonize Mars and the Moon in about 200 years, maybe!

Note however that NASA only has funding to build 1.5 of these European service modules. It is possible that Congress has allocated additional funds, but if so, I missed it.



  • Lemuel Vargas

    Hopefully, the measurements are not in metric…

  • Fred

    I realize this entire post and all comments come in a /sarc tag.

    But I must interject a point of clarification, because while the pace is glacial, Orion is never, ever going anywhere near Mars. And everyone who’s ever worked on it knows that. It’s long past time for NASA to stop intimating that SLS and Orion has anything to do with Mars.

  • Col Beausabre

    Bob Z – “At this pace we might be able to colonize Mars and the Moon in about 200 years, maybe!”

    A friend of mine, civil engineer on some major New York City projects, expresses it this way – “If they had the modern government project review and approval process during the westward expansion, we would now be getting close to the Susquehanna River”

    And Airbus? It was founded as a government jobs program and it remains so. So work as slowly as possible because if we ever actually FINISH this ting, we’ll no longer have a job.

  • wayne

    Col Beausabre
    good stuff!

    Way tangent, I digress terribly- I’d love to know what the civil engineer, thinks about Robert Moses? (infamous NY Urban Planner responsible for some $25 billion in government project’s over his career; 658 playgrounds, 416 miles of parkways, and 13 bridges.” )
    –interesting factoid; he never learned how to drive a car!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *