Satnews Daily
February 18th, 2016

Airbus Defence and Space Hires OHB Sweden To Run Gamut Of Test Activities For NASA’s Orion Space Vehicle 

Artist's impression of Orion, Copyright: NASA

[Satnews] OHB Sweden has been contracted by Airbus Defence and Space to perform assembly, integration and test activities for the Propulsion Qualification Model (PQM) for NASA’s Orion space vehicle’s European Service Module. The hands-on work at OHB Sweden will be performed between February and July 2016, after which the PQM will be transported to the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, US, for hot-firing tests.

Artist's impression of Orion, Copyright: ESA–D. Ducros

The European Service Module (ESM) is built by Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen, Germany, on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), and sits directly below Orion’s crew capsule (see images). It provides propulsion, power, thermal control, and water and air for four astronauts. 

A little over 5 m in diameter and 4 m high, the ESM weighs 13.5 tonnes. The 8.6 tonnes of propellant will power one main engine and 32 smaller thrusters. The solar array spans 19 m and provides enough energy to power two households. 

"OHB Sweden has in recent years built a strong expertise in assembly, integration and test of propulsion systems and the company is today a recognized supplier of electrical, chemical and cold gas propulsion systems for satellites. So now that Airbus Defence and Space entrust us with the task of integrating this large and important qualification model, as part of the preparations of a future NASA manned space vehicle, we are thrilled!”, says Gierth Olsson, CEO of OHB Sweden.