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Fly me to the Moon! NASA’s Orion spacecraft with the Airbus-built European Service Module is ready for launch

Fly me to the Moon! NASA's Orion spacecraft with the Airbus-built European Service Module is ready for launch

In a few days, NASA’s Orion spacecraft will lift off on its lunar mission from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. As part of NASA’s Artemis missions, the European Service Module (ESM), constructed by Airbus, will power Orion to and from its lunar orbit. As the primary contractor for the European Space Agency ESA, Airbus developed the ESM and is currently designing and producing five further ESMs.

Courtesy: Airbus

 

The ESM is a key element of Orion, the next-generation spacecraft that will carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit for the first time since the Apollo programme ended in the 1970s. The module provides propulsion, power and thermal regulation and will supply astronauts with water and oxygen on future missions. The ESM is installed below the crew module.

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The launch of NASA’s Orion spacecraft with the European Service Module has historic significance 50 years after the last astronaut lunar mission and is another major step toward returning astronauts to the Moon. The programme is now moving forward and we are ready for a return to the lunar surface in 2025 together with our customers ESA and NASA and our industrial partner Lockheed Martin Space,” said Jean-Marc Nasr, head of Space Systems at Airbus.

Courtesy: Airbus

The ESM is a cylinder about four metres high and wide. It is similar to the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV 2008 – 2015), also built by Airbus, and features the signature four-bladed solar array (19 metres in diameter when deployed), which generates enough power for two households. The service module’s 8.6 tons of propellant power the main engine, eight auxiliary engines and 24 smaller thrusters ensure navigation and attitude control.

At launch, the ESM weighs a total of just over 13 tons. In addition to serving as the main propulsion system for the Orion spacecraft, the ESM will enable orbital maneuvering and attitude control. It will provide the crew with key life support elements such as water and oxygen and regulate thermal control while docked to the crew module. Also the unpressurized service module can be used to carry additional payloads.

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For the first landing on the Moon, the Orion spacecraft will dock with the international Lunar Gateway – a lunar-orbiting platform that will enable sustained space exploration and expand humanity’s presence in space.

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Aerospace

Boeing 777-9 Begins Certification Flight Testing with FAA Onboard

Boeing 777-9 Begins Certification Flight Testing with FAA Onboard

The 777-9 has commenced certification flight testing at Boeing Field in Seattle. This is a crucial step under the supervision of our regulator to certify the airplane and deliver it to customers worldwide.

Amidst Boeing’s current challenges, the B777X stands out as a project that could revitalize the brand. It is highly anticipated, and Boeing is keen to clear FAA certifications to release it as soon as possible.

Boeing 777-8F vs Airbus A350F: Comparing two Premium aircraft : Click here

The aircraft is two years behind its initial commitment date. During this time, the company has rigorously tested it under various conditions to ensure its readiness for commercial service.

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Boeing has announced that the 777X will be used for both passenger and freighter services, depending on customer requirements.

Boeing’s 777X program has achieved a major milestone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granting approval to begin certification flight tests, marking a significant step towards the aircraft’s entry into commercial service.

Mega Comparison of Boeing 777x vs A350-1000 Aircraft : Click here

The European Union granted approval for this merger in February, and Korean Air anticipates U.S. regulatory approval by the end of October.

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Following Airbus’ breakthrough with Korean Air, Reuters reported in April that Korean Air was considering a new Boeing order focused on the 777X, an advanced version of the 777 mini-jumbo.

Boeing 777-9 First certification

The first certification flight test of the 777-9 took place on Friday evening, with FAA personnel onboard alongside Boeing’s pilots and flight test team.

According to The Seattle Times, the aircraft departed from Boeing Field shortly after 6 p.m. and landed nearly two hours later after flying along the Washington and Oregon coast.

The 777X, an upgraded version of the successful 777 twinjet, features new engines and carbon composite wings with folding wingtips to accommodate standard airport gates.

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The first variant, the 777-9X, is designed to carry 426 passengers in a two-class configuration for long-haul international flights.

Comparison of two legendary aircraft Boeing 777x vs Boeing 747 aircraft : Click here

Boeing B777x total orders

Boeing has secured 481 orders for the aircraft, with Emirates being the largest customer, having ordered over 200 units. The planemaker has already built and stored 22 777X jets, with an additional six in various stages of assembly in Everett, Washington.

Boeing is close to finalizing a significant deal to sell approximately two dozen 777X jets to Korean Air, with an estimated value ranging from $4 billion to $6 billion, as reported by Reuters.

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Industry sources suggest that the agreement could be concluded as early as the Farnborough Airshow in July. Korean Air, South Korea’s largest airline, has been in discussions about returning to Boeing for its long-haul aircraft needs.

The Boeing 777X vs A350 is one of the most popular comparisons among aircraft as of now. The Airbus A350 has been operating for more than eight years, and its promising performance helps airlines in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction, particularly in noise and vibrations.

The next generation Boeing 777X can fulfill the same requirements, with 777x first delivery given to Emirates Airlines, the launch customer for this aircraft. It remains to be seen how the Boeing 777X vs Airbus A350 will compete against each other in the future.

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