ESA and NASA sign a memorandum to “bring” Europe to the moon


Specifically, this “historic” agreement, as ESA defined it, confirms the European Space Agency’s commitment to provide at least two service modules to provide electricity, water, oxygen and nitrogen to the Orion spacecraft. NASA, which others will join in the future.

ESA will also have three flight opportunities for European astronauts to travel and work at the Gateway, ESA reports in a statement.

Gateway will enable sustainable exploration around the Moon and on its surface, and will allow to investigate and demonstrate the technologies and processes necessary to carry out a future mission to Mars.

ESA’s contribution to this international effort under the MOU includes building the primary habitat for astronauts when they visit Gateway, known as I-Hab.

The second contribution, called ESPRIT, will offer improved communication, refueling capacity and a window similar to the European “Dome” observatory on the International Space Station.

Both contributions are in line with what was approved by ESA member states during the Ministerial Council held last year in Seville.

“This Memorandum of Understanding marks a critical point in Europe’s trajectory: it confirms that we are moving towards the Moon, not only in terms of equipment and technology, but also with our staff,” says ESA Director General Jan Wörner.

Para Wörner, “Europe will play a central role in the new era of global space exploration together with NASA and our partners, offering exemplary and revolutionary architectures to explore the Moon and Mars and inspire the next generations “.

For his part, ESA’s director of human and robotic exploration, David Parker, points out that every astronaut launch to the moon aboard the new Orion spacecraft will depend on the European service module for energy, propulsion, oxygen and water.

“Europe will provide its crew with accommodation, telecommunications, supplies and a beautiful view of the Moon thanks to ESA’s contributions to Gateway. In addition, European astronauts will fly to Gateway to live and work in deep space for the first time.”

The MOU was signed remotely by Wörner and NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.


Source link