This year will be a big one for the European Space Agency, as the organization is working on a variety of projects for 2013, space.com reported.
According to the news source, the ESA has plans to sendagroup of astronauts on its first flight, launch its first robotic cargo ship, develop new rockets and do new work with spacecraft. The spacecraft plans involve developing a reusable space plane and providing the service module for the Orion craft being developed by NASA.
Franco Bonacina, spokesman for ESA's director-general, Jean-Jacques Dordain, told space.com that the ESA is getting close to beginning work on the Orion service module.
"The Orion service module funding has been approved, so now the usual work process starts," Bonacina told the news source. "I think [the NASA-ESA agreement signing] is in January. It should be rather early from what I've heard, it is something to be done towards the beginning of the year."
These types of advanced avionics systems are heavily dependent on advanced embedded software systems. Completing these projects, however, relies on embedded software testing. Effective testing can ensure that major projects are completed on schedule and in line with expectations, which is key in such advanced sectors as avionics.