PARIS — The European Space Agency (ESA) on Nov. 22 announced that its work on the propulsion module for NASA’s Orion crew-transport vehicle has been slowed by a further six months as it considers design tradeoffs.

As a result, ESA said, the preliminary design review for the Orion propulsion system will not be completed until May 2014. “The overall effect on the project’s schedule is still under investigation,” ESA said. The first flight with the ESA-produced propulsion module for Orion had been scheduled for 2017.

Nico Dettman, head of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle program — the space station cargo carrier from which ESA is borrowing much Orion propulsion module technology — said in a statement: “We need more time to look at options and ensure we make the right design decisions at this stage.”

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Peter B. de Selding was the Paris Bureau Chief for SpaceNews.