Today, Airbus Defence and Space works on a number of exciting space projects, including Orion ESM, the ISS' Columbus module, Bartolomeo and ATV. A global competence centre for all human spaceflight-related activities, our additional competences include astronaut training, life support systems for Earth and space, space robotics, space exploration programmes and, last but not least, sounding rockets for microgravity experiments.
Orion EUROPEAN SERVICE MODULE
Orion, the next-generation NASA's Spacecraft designed for manned space exploration missions of destinations beyond low Earth orbit (asteroids, the Moon, Mars), will be powered by a European Service Module (ESM) developed and built by Airbus Defence and Space. This ESM will power the Orion capsule and its crew deeper into space than ever before.
*of 3 different types
Drawing on their experience with the International Space Station (ISS), they know by heart what life support systems need to look like. NASA cannot fly without us, and we cannot fly without them
Oliver Juckenhoefel, Airbus Defence and Space
Columbus is a pressurised laboratory with its own independent life support system. It's one of the primary European contributions to the International Space Station (ISS) that was built and is being operated by Airbus Defence and Space. Astronaut-researchers on-board the ISS are currently carrying out a number of experiments, covering material science, medicinei, pharmaceuticals, human physiology, biology, Earth observation, fluid physics and astronomy.
Our success with Columbus is not only a great testament to the whole Airbus Defence and Space team but also cements our reputation as a true global player in the field of human space travel
Helmut Luttmann, Airbus Defence and Space
Named after the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, the Bartolomeo platform is attached to the European Columbus Module and operated by Airbus Defence and Space. This All-in-One Mission Service comprises all mission elements into one commercial contract (mission preparation, payload launch, payload on-orbit installation, commissioning, operation, payload data processing and delivery), in order to provide the customer a reliable integrated mission solution. The offer includes:
- Launch opportunities are available on every servicing mission to the ISS, payloads can be launched pressurized or unpressurized...
- Easy mission preparation: Payload sizes, interfaces, preparation steps and integration processes largely standardized
- Highly Cost-Efficient: customers can save significantly compared to traditional mission cost. This makes Bartolomeo ideal for R&D missions e.g. technology démonstrations
Our 'ISS balcony' provides a highly cost-and-time-efficient means to perform a space mission in LEO or to test and validate new technology in orbit
Bart Reijnen, Airbus Defence and Space
Automated transfer vehicle (atv)
The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) dubbed the ISS’s lifeline to Earth, ferried propellants, food, water and equipment to the ISS between 2008 and 2015.
Once docked, an ATV used its own engines to:
- correct the station’s orbit
- compensate for a regular loss of altitude due to drag
- contribute to collision and debris avoidance
At the end of a mission, the ATV was filled with waste, de-docked and burned up as it headed back into the Earth's atmosphere. The ground-breaking innovations and learnings obtained during the ATV development and missions now serve as a fundamental basis for the development of the Orion ESM.