Thales Alenia Space has delivered its third 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.
Thales Alenia Space will provide Orbital with six 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 (COTS/CRS) contract awarded to Orbital by NASA.
The PCM unit delivered yesterday will be followed by one more unit 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, extended by at least 2024, 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.
Source: Thales Group (Paris: HO.PA)
Date: Feb 3, 2014