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Airbus wins contract for US space capsule Orion
November 17, 2014 / 1:50 PM / 3 years ago

Airbus wins contract for US space capsule Orion

BERLIN (Reuters) - Airbus Group will develop and build a service module for the future American human space capsule, Orion, marking the first time a European firm will provide system-critical elements for a U.S. space project, it said on Monday.

Airbus Group staff member walk on the tarmac near an aircraft hangar during the first flight event of the Airbus A320neo (New Engine Option) in Colomiers near Toulouse, southwestern France, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Europe’s largest aerospace group said the contract, signed with the European Space Agency, was worth around 390 million euros ($488 million).

The contract comes days after European scientists celebrated landing a probe on the surface of a comet for the first time.

NASA intends to use Orion to fly astronauts to an asteroid that has been robotically relocated into a high orbit around the moon. Eventually, the U.S. space agency wants to fly a four-member crew to Mars.

The design of the service module for Orion is based on the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) developed and built by Airbus as a supply craft for the International Space Station.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Georgina Prodhan

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