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Author Topic: CNES the Solaris System  (Read 2871 times)

Offline Michel Van

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CNES the Solaris System
« on: December 09, 2013, 03:53:49 am »
in begin of 1980s at French CNES
was study made about Scientific Platform in Polar Orbit.
It had to be service by Unmanned capsule in first phase, later bigger capsule called Minotaur, who could fly also manned in second phase.

so fare, i know the study had heavy competition with Hermes space glider, who mutated to French Space Shuttle.
in end the Scientific Platform concept became  The Columbus Man-Tended Free Flyer (MTFF).

Source of dossier
CNES
The Future of Launcher in Europe
(transcript of conference Paris 19-21 January 1982)
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Offline Michel Van

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Re: CNES the Solaris System
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 05:30:18 am »
Do to error, page 191 was missing in scans, i'm sorry for this

The second Picture show 1981 version of SOLARS with Minos capsule in form of Discovery return capsule.

Solaris = Station Orbitale Laboratoire Automatique de Rendez vous et d'Interventions Spatiales
was part of 3 project of CNES in begin of 1980s
next to the  sciences Platform was planed

Minos: a unmanned capsule (in some literature it's label Minotaur for a Manned Version)

Trisat: a telecommand Robot for Assembly and repair works on Solaris
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Offline bobik

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Offline cosmiste

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Re: CNES the Solaris System
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2013, 10:14:44 am »
Another artist view of the Solaris "automatic" station in 1981.

The basic idea was pretty good : having a simple manufacturing plant in orbit to produce advanced material and pharmaceutical products in microgravity that can be brought down through unmanned capsules.
I guess it was scrubbed when the orbital produced materials turned out to be not so promising after experiments done in SpaceLab from 1983.

Offline blackstar

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Re: CNES the Solaris System
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2013, 05:02:34 pm »
I guess it was scrubbed when the orbital produced materials turned out to be not so promising after experiments done in SpaceLab from 1983.

I wonder if there were also limitations as to what could be done automatically. Such a manufacturing facility would essentially have to be set up almost like a wind-up clock, turn it on, let it make stuff, then stop and retrieve. The limitations of robotics back then (even today) would not allow much flexibility. You couldn't really do much experimentation.

Offline cosmiste

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Re: CNES the Solaris System
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2013, 12:26:14 am »
Yes you are absolutely right !
I also do not think that an "automatic plant" could have done more than some basic chemistry or some crystal growth of microgravity material.

And considering how hard it is to keep alive a manned ISS, I doubt that Solaris could have survived long after even minor  hiccups on its mechanical system or during a docking operation. 

Offline blackstar

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Re: CNES the Solaris System
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2013, 10:25:40 am »
There also would have been volume limitations. You could only make something in a small volume, then have to move that into the recovery vehicle, so it could not be very far from the recovery vehicle in the first place. I could see a lot of practical limitations.