May 26, 2020 – The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Airbus for the construction of the third European Service Module (ESM) for Orion, the American crewed spacecraft. The contract is worth around €250 million. By ordering this additional service module, ESA ensures the necessary continuity in NASA’s Artemis programme. The third European Service Module (Artemis III Mission) will be used to fly astronauts to Earth’s neighbour in space in 2024 – the first to land on the Moon since Apollo 17 following a hiatus of more than 50 years. The first non-crewed Orion test flight with a European Service Module (Artemis I) will fly in 2021. It is as part of the following mission, Artemis II, that the first astronauts will then fly around the Moon and back to Earth. The ESM will provide propulsion, power, air and water for the astronauts, as well as thermal control of NASA’s new spacecraft.