MPCV (Multi-Purpose MPCV (Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle) is a major project for development of a new space vehicle capable of both manned (up to 6 crew members) and unmanned (cargo) missions. Its overall architecture is quite similar to the Apollo capsule + Service Module arrangement. Under a joint agreement with NASA, ESA contributes the development of the ESM (European Service Module). Since the Phase B Bridging Phase, SONACA’s responsibility is the Tank Bulkhead (TB); The main part of this component is a large (4m diameter) high precision NC-milled part that closes the ESM “cylinder” on top, and transfers the loads from the Capsule interface to the ESM lower part.
In 2016, SONACA delivered in March the FU-1 (first unmanned flight model) and in September the STA2, for sharing the Test campaign with STA1. The fourth model (FU-2), delivered in 2017, will be the first manned flight-tested