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Airbus: pens contract with ESA for Orion spacecraft

( - Airbus has announced signing a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

This contract is for the construction of the third European Service Module (ESM) of Orion, the US manned spacecraft. The contract is worth approximately 250 million euros.

The third ESM (Artemis III mission) will enable astronauts to walk on the Moon again in 2024, over 50 years after the Apollo 17 lunar landing.

Airbus said, "The first non-crewed Orion test flight with a European Service Module (Artemis I) will fly in 2021. It is as part of the following mission, Artemis II, that the first astronauts will then fly around the Moon and back to Earth."

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