Pushing the boundaries of human space travel
Posted on 02 Sep 2019 and read 1363 times
Thales Alenia Space provided half of the International Space Station’s ‘pressurised volume’ — equivalent to 40% of the entire ISS.
The company also manufactures the pressurised cargo modules for Cygnus vessels, which deliver supplies to the ISS — including food, water and equipment for experiments in space, repairs and other purposes.
The company (www.thalesgroup.com
) is now “poised to continue that tradition of helping to push the frontiers of human space travel”, having won a contract from the European Space Agency for studies of two key elements for man’s latest attempt to go back to the Moon.
The first is a Lunar Orbital Platform known as Gateway — a small spaceship that will orbit the Moon and provide a temporary ‘home and office’ for astronauts, about a five-day commute from the Earth (400,000km).
Walter Cugno, Thales Alenia Space vice-president (space and exploration) said: “The Gateway will be a true training laboratory for astronaut expeditions to the Moon and future human missions to Mars, including practice moving a spaceship into different orbits in deep space.”
The second study is for ESPRIT, a propellant storage and refuelling unit for Gateway’s propulsion system, as well as a communications and connecting module.