After almost a year of hard work, OHB Sweden (a subsidiary of OHB SE, Prime Standard, ISIN DE0005936124) has now finalised the integration of the Propulsion Qualification Model (PQM) for the European Service Module to NASA’s Orion space vehicle.
The PQM left OHB Sweden’s facilities in mid-January and is expected to arrive at the NASA White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico in mid-February, where final integration of some vital components like the Main Engine will take place. This will be followed by acceptance tests and finally hot-firing tests in May to June 2017.
The European Service Module (ESM) is built by Airbus Defence and Space in Bremen, Germany, on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), and sits directly below Orion’s crew capsule. It provides propulsion, power, thermal control, and water and air for four astronauts. OHB Sweden has been contracted by Airbus Defence and Space to perform assembly, integration and test activities for the PQM.
A little over 5 m in diameter and 4 m high, the ESM weighs 13.5 tonnes. The 8.6 tonnes of propellant will power one Main Engine and 32 smaller thrusters. The solar array spans 19 m and provides enough energy to power two households.
"We at OHB Sweden are very happy and proud to have finalised this part of our work with the PQM in such a successful way, and to be able to contribute to the process of qualifying the European Service Module for its first flight. Our collaboration with Airbus Defence and Space has been excellent and we are now looking forward to performing the final integration and to participate during the hot firing tests out in the desert!” says Gierth Olsson, CEO of OHB Sweden.