The Orion and ESM for Artemis I is currently going through testing

The European Space Agency has asked the aerospace company Airbus to build another service module for the Americans’ Orion crew capsule.

This contract, worth around €250m (£225m), is particularly noteworthy, however.

That’s because the hardware will be part of the mission that returns astronauts to the Moon’s surface for the first time in 52 years.

The European Service Module (ESM) can be thought of as the back end of Orion.

It pushes the capsule through space, is responsible for its power supply and temperature control, and holds all the water and gases needed to sustain those riding onboard.

The US space agency (Nasa) asked Esa to source Orion service modules to cement their ongoing partnership at the International Space

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