The Orion Service Module is here in the US to prepare for a Moon mission. This module was designed and built by the European Space Agency (esa)
The first European Service Module for NASA's Orion spacecraft was loaded onto a transport plane in Bremen, Germany, on Nov. 5, 2018, and has arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA will use this European-built system to propel, power, and cool NASA’s Mars Orion spacecraft1. (Image courtesy of NASA/Rad Sinyak)
The service module will perform in-space maneuvering throughout the mission, including course corrections as well.
We’re finally returning to the Moon
Astronaut Harrison Schmitt told me that we need to return to the Moon. That was in 2013 (Apollo 17: The last men on the Moon) Schmitt wrote a book entitled “Return to the Moon” that discusses the mining of Helium 32.
The esa has an Earth-based Luna facility that will recreate the Moon’s surface here on planet Earth in Cologne, Germany. This is a much-needed facility to test tools and an astronaut training ground. There will be 1,000 m2 of simulated Lunar soil which will be created here on Earth in Europe with a basaltic material made up of silicates, a common feature in planetary bodies with volcanism. See Bricks from Lunar Dust.
With the 50th anniversary of the US Moon landing coming up on July 20, 2019 there is an air of excitement by we ‘space enthusiasts’ as well as NASA and esa scientists and astronauts.
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