Thales Alenia Space delivers 2nd PCM cargo module to Orbital Sciences Corp. for Cygnus

Thales Alenia Space has delivered its second Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) to Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) for integration in the Cygnus spacecraft that will transport cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). 

The module was shipped from Thales Alenia Space’s plant in Turin, Italy to the NASA launch facility on Wallops Island in Virginia, where Orbital will integrate it with the Service Module to form the Cygnus spacecraft that will carry out the first operational resupply mission. The demonstration mission, with a Cygnus spacecraft using the first PCM unit delivered by Thales Alenia Space in 2011, is scheduled for launch this coming September by Orbital's Antares launch vehicle.

Thales Alenia Space will provide Orbital with seven more pressurized cargo modules, which will ferry crew supplies, spare parts and scientific experiments to the International Space Station. The company is providing a total of nine units under the Commercial Resupply Service (CRS) contract awarded to Orbital by NASA. 

The PCM unit delivered today will be followed by two more units in the standard configuration, capable of transporting up to 2,000 kg of cargo, and by five enhanced units, offering cargo capacity of up to 2,700 kg.

The CygnusTM spacecraft comprises a Service Module (SM) from Orbital, and the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) developed by Thales Alenia Space. Building on 30 years of experience in space infrastructures and transportation systems, the Cygnus PCM developed by Thales Alenia Space calls on the company’s skills and expertise developed through previous programs for the International Space Station, such as the MPLM (Multipurpose Logistics Module), built by the company on behalf of the Italian space agency for NASA, and the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) Cargo Carrier, built by Thales Alenia Space for the European Space Agency (ESA). Thales Alenia Space supplies half of the International Space Station’s pressurized volume, as prime contractor for the Station's Node 2, Node 3 and Cupola, and is a key player in the Columbus laboratory. 

Thales Alenia Space was also chosen to participate in the construction of NASA’s new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), Orion.

The European leader in satellite systems and a major player in orbital infrastructures, Thales Alenia Space is a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Finmeccanica (33%). Thales Alenia Space and Telespazio embody the two groups’ “Space Alliance”. Thales Alenia Space sets the global standard in solutions for space telecommunications, radar and optical Earth observation, defence and security, navigation and science. With consolidated revenues of 2.1 billion Euros in 2012, Thales Alenia Space has 7,500 employees in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium and United States.

Source: Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)
Date: Jul 18, 2013