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NASA Wants New Orion Spacecraft Engine for Future Artemis Missions

Jeff Brody

NASA is looking for potential sources of a new main engine for the Orion spacecraft’s European service module, which serves as its main power and propulsion element for maneuvers in lunar orbit, SpaceNews reported Friday.

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The agency plans to award a firm-fixed-price contract for the provision of a new engine to support the Airbus-built ESM, which operates under the European Space Agency and will handle major functions for the Lockheed Martin-developed (NYSE: LMT) spacecraft such as abort scenarios and lunar orbit entrance and departure.

According to the request for proposals, OME will replace an Aerojet Rocketdyne-built orbital maneuvering system for Orion’s multipurpose crew vehicle the agency plans to use on the initial five Artemis missions.

A selected contractor may perform work under the OME contract through mid-2031, NASA noted.

The agency expects to issue a draft RFP for the OME effort by December and intends to accept proposals through June 11. An online industry day on the initiative is scheduled for April 2.

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