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Europe is going to the Moon aboard Artemis 1

Europe in Space
Issue 23. Subscribers: 500
It was a record-breaking week for the newsletter with a staggering 43 new subscribers pushing us up to the 500-subscriber mark! Thank you so much to everyone who has subscribed. To my new subscribers, I hope you enjoy the first issue.
Since my RFA profile was received so well last week, I will be continuing to create detailed profiles of European launch companies, with Isar next in line. The Isar profile will be published next week for Issue 24.

ESA will play a key role in Artemis 1
As the excitement builds for the Artemis 1 launch, I thought I would take a look at Europe’s part in the mission and the Artemis programme as a whole. 
I planned to send this out just before the launch, which was supposed to happen today. However, during the buildup, engineers were unable to get past a liquid hydrogen engine bleed. Although the next launch window is on 2 September, it is still unclear if the issue will be rectified in time to make use of it.
Credit: ESA - S. Corvaja
Credit: ESA - S. Corvaja
The history
ESA and NASA signed a memorandum of understanding in October 2020 to work together to establish the lunar Gateway space station. The agreement outlined the ESA’s contributions to the station which includes the European Service Module (ESM), which will supply power, propulsion, life support, and more to the Orion spacecraft. In exchange, ESA received three flight opportunities for European Astronauts aboard Artemis missions.
This is, however, not where the story of the ESM and its part in the Artemis programme begins. For that, we have to go back almost a decade to 2012 when ESA member states committed to developing an Automated-Transfer-Vehicle-derived service module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. 
Initially, this project was part of ESA’s obligation to NASA for the ISS from 2017 to 2020 and only covered a single module for the maiden flight of SLS and Orion. This service module was then assigned to Exploration Mission-1, which would become Artemis 1, in early 2013. 
In 2014, ESA signed a €390 million fixed-price contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the development and construction of this first ESM. Airbus would receive a €200 million contract to produce a second module in 2017 after ESA extended its ISS commitment to 2024 in late 2016. A €200 million contract for a third was signed in May 2020 and a €650 million contract for three more was signed in February 2021, which fulfilled ESA’s commitments for Gateway and ISS.
A long legacy
Much like the SLS rocket, ESM leans heavily on tech developed for other projects. In addition to it being derived from the Automated Transfer Vehicle, the module also makes use of flight-proven Space Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines (also known as the AJ10-190), at least initially.
For Artemis 1, the ESM will make use of an OMS which flew aboard 19 Space Shuttle missions and carried out 89 burns. OMS engines are expected to be utilized aboard as many as five ESMs with a decision on a replacement yet to be made. 
Airbus has already delivered two ESMs to NASA. A third is currently undergoing integration at Airbus’ Bremen facility in Germany. The primary structure of a fourth is currently being worked on at the same facility in Germany.
Europe is going to the Moon
“Europe is part of going back to the Moon. And this is huge. This is pretty huge. And this is something that is a first for Europe,” said ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.
As I said previously, in exchange for the ESM, Europe has secured three seats aboard Artemis missions for its astronauts. Although the exact missions have yet to be been finalized, two seats will be aboard missions to the lunar Gateway space station in orbit around the Moon. The third, it’s hoped, will put the first European on the surface of the Moon.
ESA’s continued involvement in Artemis, however, will be dependent on a €1.1 billion funding request to continue work on ESM production and Gateway elements. This request will be decided upon at the agency’s ministerial level council meeting in November. 
The current overall cost of the program, which includes six service modules, is about 2.1 billion euros. 
Artemis 1 cubesats
Although EMS will be Europe’s most prominent role in Artemis 1, it is not the continent’s only contribution. 
Along with the Orion spacecraft, the Artemis 1 mission will also carry a number of small passengers. One of the most exciting of these passengers is ArgoMoon which was developed and built by Italian aerospace firm Argotec with coordination from the Italian Space Agency.
Once launched, ArgoMoon will be tasked with keeping an eye on the SLS rocket’s Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) through to separation. Essentially, the 6U cubesat will act as the cameraman for one of the most historic moments in spaceflight since the end of the Apollo program.
Space Norway to see seashells on the sea shore - Space Norway AS signed contracts with several vendors for the construction of MicroSAR, a radar satellite system optimized for maritime surveillance in Norwegian Areas of interest. UK-based Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) will be responsible for the satellite platform and the integration of the payloads. SSTL subcontractor Oxford Space Systems will be responsible for building the radar antenna. Payloads will be developed and produced by Norwegian companies WideNorth, Eidsvoll Electronics, Kongsberg Seatex, and the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. 
A rocket ship gets paint job - ArianeGroup revealed the progress being made on the Canopée Ariane 6 transport vessel. Since its launch, the transport vessel has received its livery and has completed its “first small trip at sea.” The 121-metres vessel will transport elements of the Ariane 6 launch vehicles from production facilities in Europe to the launch facility in French Guiana. The vessel’s most notable feature is four articulated wing sails measuring 363 square metres each that reduce polluting emissions by up to 35%. 
Who would’ve thought we’d think fondly of 2021? - French space agency CNES published its annual report for 2021. The report covers a number of areas including strategy, sovereignty, economic competitiveness, environment, scientific cooperation, human resources, and outreach. “2021 was a very busy year also marked by a return to more normal social interactions that enabled us to strengthen the ties between us and with our partners,” said chairman and CEO Philippe Baptiste.
An Italian and two Germans jump on a rocket - Italian space logistics company D-Orbit has won a public tender to launch and deploy a pair of satellites built by TU Berlin’s Chair of Space Technology. The satellites are the space segment of the Nanosatellite Formation Flights project (NanoFF), funded by the German Aerospace Center. NanoFF aims to demonstrate an approach to achieve, maintain and utilize a helix formation flight, where the satellites spiral along a common orbital path. The two satellites will be launched aboard a D-Orbit ION satellite carrier in Q2 2023.
You can’t make a cake without eggs - UK-based space tech company AAC Clyde published its Q2 report revealing a loss after tax of SEK 5.8M (approximately €550,000) with a net sales increase of 4%. CEO Luis Gomes cited supply chain issues delaying the delivery of existing projects and casting uncertainty over delivery times for new customer orders as a major pain point. The company currently has an order backlog of SEK 400M (approximately €37.6M).
Shake it like a satellite during launch - German space tech startup DcubeD conducted vibration and shock testing of an engineering model of its 100W 1U PowerCube deployable solar array. This series of tests simulated the conditions a satellite will experience during launch and separation. The test campaign was carried out by German Orbital Systems in Berlin and Aachen. PowerCube is an off-the-shelf scalable, deployable solar array for nanosatellites that can be stowed in less than a 1U CubeSat unit and is capable of generating 100W at end of life (5 years).
How many people does it take to launch a rocket? - Scottish launch Orbex announced that it plans to add 50 new staff over the next six months. The recruitment drive is aimed at strengthening existing teams working on key areas of the new vehicle, including propulsion, structures, avionics, CNC machining, and embedded software. Additionally, fifteen of the new roles will be for non-technical positions that will require no previous experience in the space or aerospace industry and will cover logistics, finance, and procurement. “The roles we’re recruiting for are the clearest demonstration that we’re in the final countdown to launch from UK soil,” said CEO Chris Larmour.
Highway to sustainability - ESA signed a memorandum of intent with the European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination (ERTICO) to support and promote the development and commercialization of future sustainable technologies in the transport and mobility sector. “Today’s memorandum represents a big step towards a more efficient, safer, and sustainable transport sector in Europe by the use of space-based applications and services,” said ESA’s Director of Navigation Javier Benedicto.
We do it like the Italian job - Polytechnic University of Milan space association PoliSpace announced its EPv0 project in cooperation with Italian launch startup Sidereus Space Dynamics. The project aims to build a payload for the Sidereus EOS launch vehicle that will characterize the vehicle’s payload bay through a series of measurements including acceleration, angular velocity, temperature, and pressure. EOS is a small single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle that is designed to be capable of delivering 15 kg payloads to orbit.
You’ve reached tech support - UK-based satellite builder In-Space Missions has announced the appointment of Matthew Angling as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. Angling joins In-Space Missions from Spire, where he served as the Director of Space Weather. “Matthew joins In-Space at an exciting time of growth for our company, as we expand the business and launch new digital “plug and play” services for our worldwide customers,“ said CEO Doug Liddle.
You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling - ESA Academy has opened applications for its Earth Observation Remote Sensing Workshop. The workshop is targeted at Masters and PhD students and offers the opportunity to learn more about the importance of remote sensing and ESA’s Earth Observation satellite missions. It will be held over five days from 5 to 9 December 2022 in ESA Academy’s Training & Learning Facility in Belgium. The deadline for applications is 26 September.
Where the magic happens - ESA announced the 11th annual Open Day at the ESTEC in the Netherlands is confirmed to take place on Sunday 2 October. As part of a string of ESA Days across Member States, the ESTEC Open Day will invite visitors into the agency’s "technical heart” to see space hardware and testing facilities and meet ESA scientists, engineers, and astronauts.
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Andrew Parsonson

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