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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.

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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