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Human spaceflight

Human spaceflight

Airbus Defence and Space plays a significant role in the major successes associated with European orbital systems, customers and partners worldwide rely on our experience and innovative spirit.

Today, Airbus Defence and Space works on a number of exciting space projects, including Orion ESMthe ISS' Columbus moduleBartolomeo 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.

Learn more about Orion ESM through Orion´s blog

#1 European supplier
for a NASA spacecraft
1st uncrewed flight
planned for 2018 
Up to 4 astronauts
can be sent to space

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

Orion European Service Module for NASA's spacecraft
 

Orion ESM is the first Europe's contribution to a critical part of a NASA's spacecraft, whom Airbus is the main manufacturer.

Columbus program

Columbus is a pressurized 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.

Successful launch
in February 2008
41 subcontractors
managed
A 14 countries
project

Our success with Columbus is not only a great testament to the wholeAirbus 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

BARTOLOMEO

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
A 10-year experience
in integrating/operating payloads
Only 12 months
of lead time
20 years of experience
in cargo transportation/operation

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

20170913 Bartolomeo Animation Update
 

Bartolomeo enables the hosting of external payloads in low-Earth orbit, on-board the International Space Station ISS. Application areas include (but are not limited to) Earth observation, robotics, material science or astrophysics; payloads can be hosted for institutional and private organizations alike. Named after the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, the Bartolomeo platform is attached to the European Columbus Module and operated by Airbus. With its All-in-One Mission Service, the company provides all mission-related elements and can even assist when it comes to building the actual payload.

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.

ATV - the story of success
 

ATV-5 is the last ATV to dock to the ISS. IT has been a technical and human adventure since decades. See a retrospective and take a look in the future with the testimonials of key ATV story actors and actresses of Airbus Defence and Space. More information on ATV: http://bit.ly/1vmxh5Z

Media

Orion ESM - Mankind on the way to the Moon and beyond      
Orion ESM - Mankind on the way to the Moon and beyond
 / 

11 July 2017

Orion ESM - Mankind on the way to the Moon and beyond

Orion ESM - Mankind on the way to the Moon and beyond

Orion ESM - Journey around the Moon      
Orion ESM - Journey around the Moon
 / 

11 July 2017

Orion ESM - Journey around the Moon

Orion ESM - Journey around the Moon

20170913 Bartolomeo Clip Update FullHD        
 
 / 

13 September 2017

20170913 Bartolomeo Clip Update FullHD

Bartolomeo enables the hosting of external payloads in low-Earth orbit, on-board the International Space Station ISS. Application areas include (but are not limited to) Earth observation, robotics, material science or astrophysics; payloads can be hosted for institutional and private organizations alike. Named after the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, the Bartolomeo platform is attached to the European Columbus Module and operated by Airbus. With its All-in-One Mission Service, the company provides all mission-related elements and can even assist when it comes to building the actual payload.

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The New Journey into Space        
 
 / 

22 May 2017

The New Journey into Space

The sky is not the limit! The new journey into space shows the innovative and manifold space portfolio of Airbus.

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Orion ESM - Service module for NASA's spacecraft Orion - Clip 1        
 
 / 

05 November 2015

Orion ESM - Service module for NASA's spacecraft Orion - Clip 1

2018 is the launch year for the first Orion mission – which will be uncrewed and powered by the European Service Module built by Airbus Defence and Space. The service module fulfils the role of a power plant. It drives the capsule and provides fuel and energy. It is also equipped with oxygen tanks to supply the crew. More information: http://bit.ly/1iNZ26Y

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Earth observation

Telecommuni- cations Satellites

Human spaceflight

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Space exploration

Space Data Highway

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