European officials are just as excited as their American counterparts about the upcoming Artemis 1 launch, which will bring Europe one step closer to sending astronauts to the moon.
The European Space Agency's major contribution to the mission, which is set to launch as soon as August 29, is the ESM, or service module for the Orion spacecraft
This module, which is based on the Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo spacecraft developed by the European Space Agency for space station resupply, provides power, propulsion, life support
Europe is going to the moon with the Artemis mission. "That is quite historic," ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher said at a press conference on Aug. 23.
"It's huge that NASA trusts ESA to be on the critical path," he said. "The partnership with NASA has been strong for decades, but Artemis will take it to a whole new level."
The ESM's development, including the production of the module flying on Artemis 1, cost ESA approximately 650 million euros ($650 million), according to David Parker, ESA's director for human.
The program's overall cost, which currently includes six service modules, is approximately 2.1 billion euros, reflecting lower per-unit costs as the module enters regular production.