Airbus Defence and Space has shipped a propulsion test module for the Orion manned spacecraft programme. The test module is travelling via Bremerhaven and Houston to its final destination at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) near Las Cruces in New Mexico. Arrival is expected mid-February.
The Propulsion Qualification Test Model (PQM) will be used to check that the European Service Module (ESM) propulsion subsystem functions correctly. The tests will take place later in the year at WSTF for the qualification of Orion ESM’s propulsion subsystem.
Airbus Defence and Space is prime contractor to the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Service Module. The ESM provides electricity, water, oxygen and nitrogen as well as keeping the spacecraft at the right temperature and on course.