Systems integration complete on Orion Service Module
The European Service Module for the next Orion mission has completed final system integration at the Airbus facility in Bremen, Germany after technicians installed the last radiator unit. The first mission-critical component to be supplied by ESA to NASA, the Service Module will fly on the unmanned Exploration Mission-1 in June 2020 that will demonstrate the Orion spacecraft's capabilities during a 25-day cislunar mission.
According to ESA, last week's radiator installation marked the end of system integration as the radiators act like the bonnet of a car, sealing off the module's interior to further access by technicians. The module is now undergoing extensive testing of the radiators, power, air, and water systems, as well as the propulsion system's 33 thrusters and their propellant feed lines.
After testing, the module and its solar panel package will be flown to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for final assembly and stacking with the Orion crew capsule, producing the first fully-complete Orion spacecraft (the previous version used a dummy version of the Service Module). The spacecraft will then be subjected to vacuum and vibration tests to determine if it can withstand the stresses of lift off and flight.
When the next Service Module is ready for the first manned Orion flight, Exploration Mission-2, it will have a launch mass of 13,500 kg (29,762 lb) out of the Orion's total 20 tonnes and carry 8,660 kg (19,092 lb) of propellant, 240 kg (529 lb) of potable water, 20 kg (45 lb) of nitrogen, and 90 kg (198 lb) of oxygen.