Cobham Mission Systems

Cobham Mission Systems Awarded Contract from Thales Alenia Space Italia for Orion ESM Life Support Components


Cobham Mission Systems Awarded Contract from Thales Alenia Space Italia for Orion ESM Life Support Components

Aerospace leader continues support of American-crewed lunar and deep space flights for Artemis program

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y., May 18, 2021 — Cobham Mission Systems, the U.S.-based world leader in space life support systems, announced today it has been awarded a follow-on contract from Thales Alenia Space Italia for regulators and latch valves to be used on the European Service Modules for NASA’s American-crewed Orion spacecraft. The ESM provides essential support functions for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, which will be launched on the Space Launch System under the Artemis program to take astronauts to the moon and eventually to Mars.

“Our team is thrilled to continue its role in the Artemis Orion mission and ESM program through the advancement of our critical life support system hardware,” said Michael O’Donnell, vice president of Business Development and Sales at Cobham Mission Systems. “We are proud of our historical legacy of supporting NASA space missions, and passionate about developing the most advanced and effective life support technologies that assist the next generation of manned space missions. Our industry partnerships are critical to our goal of driving continued innovation and successful component deliveries. We are committed to supporting our long-standing partnership with Thales Alenia Space to ensure the continued success of future missions.”

Cobham Mission Systems’ components, used in the ESM’s crew life support consumable gas and water delivery system, will provide water, oxygen, and nitrogen needed to create a life-sustaining environment for the crew onboard the vehicle. Components, including oxygen and nitrogen regulators, and water and gas on/off valves, will be delivered annually and designated for use on ESM 4 through 6, scheduled to launch in the 2026-2027 timeframe. Final Orion program approval by the European Union Ministerial Council for ESM 5 and 6 is expected to take place end of 2022.

“This is our first multi-year production order for ESM hardware extending beyond what we have already been contracted to deliver for ESM 1 through 3,” said Craig Ryan, integrated product team director for Space Systems at Cobham Mission Systems. “Safely extending the reach of astronauts has been the priority for our space programs since NASA’s first earth orbital flight. It is incredibly rewarding to continue advancing this goal in our work for the lunar Artemis missions and deep space exploration.”

ESM, Copyright ESA–D. Ducros

In addition to these critical life support components, Cobham Mission Systems’ broader product offering in satellite electric propulsion includes mechanical regulators, proportional flow valves, composite propellant tanks and complete feed systems. The company’s design expertise in all these elements allows the globally recognized Cobham Mission Systems team to create custom, integrated solutions to meet the most challenging performance, budget or production requirements of its broad range of aerospace customers.

For more information on Cobham Mission Systems space life support and propulsion products, visit or contact Ryan at or (716) 667-6468.

About Cobham Mission Systems

As the world’s leading supplier of critical control solutions, Cobham Mission Systems helps customers increase the safety and mission capabilities of personnel and equipment in extreme environments. Proven and trusted solutions include air-to-air refueling, fuel tank inerting, life support, space propulsion, weapons carriage and missile actuation that enable customers to achieve mission success.


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