The Orion spacecraft for NASA’s Artemis I mission has successfully completed several months of simulated space environment system-level testing in the NASA-owned thermal vacuum chamber at Plum Brook Station in Ohio.
The tests were conducted in two phases; a 47-day thermal vacuum test and a 14-day electromagnetic compatibility and interference test in ambient conditions which both simulate the conditions the spacecraft will encounter during its voyage to the Moon and back to Earth.
Orion will be transported back to the Kennedy Space Center to undergo further testing and prepare the spacecraft for integration with the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The ESA’s European Service Module built by Airbus will provide propulsion, power, air and water for the astronauts, as well as thermal control of the entire spacecraft.
Artemis I is scheduled to travel around the Moon and back to Earth. Airbus in Bremen is already building the second Orion Service Module for Artemis II, where astronauts will fly to the Moon and back to Earth for the first time.
Commenting on the successful test, Andreas Hammer, Head of Space Exploration at Airbus, said: “Today marked an important milestone for the Artemis I mission to the Moon. We proved to our customers ESA and NASA that the European Service Module, designed and built by our engineers in Bremen, supported by companies in 10 European countries, meets the requirements to withstand the harsh conditions in space. The Artemis programme will land the first woman and next man on the Moon and bring them back safely to Earth, we are proud to contribute to this endeavour with all our know-how, expertise and passion.”