The Artemis space missions will make space history and bring humans to the moon again. Leading global aerospace supplier Beyond Gravity is part of the first three Artemis missions and supplies critical elements for the mission’s Orion spacecraft, SLS launch vehicles, and the planned Gateway space station.
For the first time since 1972, humans will land on the moon thanks to the Artemis missions. Later, a new space station (M) will orbit the moon and serve as a way station for astronauts and spacecraft. The Artemis 1 program will launch an empty spacecraft into lunar orbit as the first step, the second mission will already be manned, and the third mission is expected to see four astronauts step on the moon in 2025 for the first time in more than 50 years. Closely related to the Artemis missions is the SLS (Space Launch System) launch vehicle. It will carry the Orion spacecraft. Beyond Gravity supplies key elements for all Orion spacecraft as well as the SLS launch vehicles.
Andre Wall, CEO of Beyond Gravity, “We are proud and honored to be part of these historic missions, contributing to the progress of humanity. Our employees in Switzerland, the USA and Austria have been developing, manufacturing and testing for the success of these missions for many years.”
“Our mechanisms have to perform particularly complex and extremely precise movements to correctly position the solar array panels for all three Artemis missions. The work for this was done in Zurich, Switzerland,” says Anders Linder, Head of Satellite Business at Beyond Gravity. What is special about the mechanisms is that it must be possible to fold the panels of the solar array in such a way that they are not damaged when the drive system is activated. This is because the European Service Module (ESM) from prime contractor Airbus has its own propulsion system.
In addition, Beyond Gravity’s expertise in carbon fiber composites helps produce a large connector (universal stage adapter) that connects the launch vehicle and service module. “Work on this adapter began back in 2017 and was done at the US facility in Decatur, Alabama. We did the design analysis and manufacturing at our US plant,” added Holger Wenscher, Head of the Launch Vehicle Business at Beyond Gravity. The adapter is 9.9 meters high and 8.4 meters in diameter at its widest point. The adapter from prime contractor Dynetics will be used for the first time in the second Artemis mission.
Together with its partner TTTech, Beyond Gravity is supplying the core network electronics for NASA’s portal, which will ensure secure and reliable communication between Earth and the space station. American satellite manufacturers Maxar and Northrop Grumman will integrate the products into the portal, which will orbit the moon as a manned space station more than 400,000 kilometers from Earth and serve as a stopover for astronauts and spacecraft.