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Orion and the European Service Module – ESA

NASA’s Orion spacecraft will take astronauts to destinations at or beyond low Earth orbit. In January 2013, it was announced that ESA would provide the European Service Module (ESM) for Orion’s first uncrewed mission.

Derived from ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo spacecraft, the ESM will provide life support, propulsion and structural functions for Orion. In February 2017, a contract was signed for a second ESM to be used on Orion’s first crewed flight, which will carry astronauts beyond the Moon and back.