NASA has released a Request For Information for a new engine the agency will use on the Orion European Service Module beginning with EM-6 (Exploration Mission 6). The Request For Information states that the engine is needed by mid-2024 in order to support the EM-6 flight of the Space Launch System, which under the currently in effect budget and operational timeline for NASA will be No Earlier Than 2027.
Orion Service Module engine RFI:
As part of NASA’s plan to utilize as much hardware that remained at the end of the Space Shuttle program as possible for the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket and Orion capsule, the agency mandated that Orion’s European Service Module (ESM) utilize the leftover Space Shuttle Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines for the first five Orion/ESM flights.
The supply of available Shuttle OMS engines will run out after EM-5, currently slated for No Earlier Than 2026, as the European Service Module is expended at the end of each flight and not reused. As such, NASA requires a replacement engine beginning with EM-6, and the agency took the first step toward that replacement yesterday in releasing a Request For Information (RFI) to the aerospace industry.