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Hermès Space Shuttle

martinbayer

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I’m well aware of the initial French "Systéme Ariane Véhicule Habitable" moniker - after all, it’s also quoted in the “Europe’s Space Programme” online reference I provided earlier. But the full quote from this source clearly states that “Originally the spaceplane was called the ‘Systéme Ariane Véhicule Habitable’, but it soon acquired the classical name of Hermes. ONERA (Office National d’Études et de Recherches Aéronautiques) put a Hermes on an Ariane 4 model in its wind tunnel and was publicly revealed (sic) at the next Paris air show”, so for all intents and purposes we’re really talking about the same project here. I’m also only too familiar with the mission and design creep and the associated iterations and various transmogrifications Hermes underwent over the years until its eventual cancellation with regard to structural concept, aerodynamic layout, and mission capabilities, and the introduction of an expendable resource module and its final incarnation as the uncrewed X-2000 technology demonstrator. That ultimate Hermes as well as the various ones in between might have as much or as little resemblance with the original concept as most of the Phase A Shuttle studies had with the actual STS, but that doesn’t mean than an early Hermes design isn’t just that.

I note that the first capcomespace page you cite also already refers to the 1977 study concept as Hermes and mentions that the initial intent was to launch it on Ariane 4, apparently without any modifications.

Thanks for reminding me of the Ruppe books from 1980/1981 – I completely forgot to check them yesterday. The illustration Ruppe shows on page 640 is very similar to the ones I referred to in my earlier post. Once again, in terms of size, proportions, layout, and booster arrangement, the first stages of the Ariane 4, 5 and 5H (for Hermes) all appear to be completely identical, the main difference being a larger diameter second stage with cryogenic propellants for the 5 and 5H versions. This is further confirmed in the data table on the preceding page, which reflects the planning status of 1979 and shows the exact same entries for the first stage thrust level for all three versions in question, indicating no change in the number of first stage engines. The introduction of a cryogenic second stage is also the only change from Ariane 4 to 5 explicitly mentioned in the accompanying text.

So the answer to the original question at the bottom of this discussion as to whether there ever were plans to use the Ariane 4 or at least unmodified components thereof as respectively for a launch vehicle for Hermes is, based on all the evidence presented up to this point, clearly yes. At least from the sources identified so far it appears that, as Hermes underwent the usual mass growth, the progression went from an unmodified Ariane 4 to an Ariane 5 using an unmodified Ariane 4 first stage (which could rightly be called a common core booster approach) with a new cryogenic second stage to the completely new Ariane 5 poudre (solid) concept that represented the basic configuration of today’s Ariane 5, although all stages and boosters of that design would in time experience their own mass and size growth. I’m not disputing that between the second and third step there may for a short time have been a concept that included an enlarged Ariane 4 first stage with higher propellant load and an additional engine, but I simply haven’t seen a reference source yet (but then admittedly I haven’t looked all that hard). I note however that the common core booster illustration you show in your earlier post refers to the first stage as L220, which is exactly the same name as the first stage of the Ariane 4 shown on page A1-2 of the Ariane 4 User’s Manual, indicating both have the same identical propellant load.

Martin
 

Michel Van

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thanks Martin for Information

on "Systéme Ariane Véhicule Habitable"
most in french literature take the Ariane 4 as launcher SAVH
also i found a German PM magazine how show Hermes on Ariane 4
but that the magazine art and not official CNES art !

i try dig my data for Ariane 5 prototypes to post in this Forum soon

in beginn the Ariane 5 was a Ariane 4 L220 first stage with 4x solid booster of Ariane 3
second stage with a larger diameter 4 to 5,6 meter.
this "hammerhead" configuration was change later to common diameter of 3,80 meter
i don't know why, but maybe it because aerodynamic problems
the last version Ariane 5R was in 1982 a L220 with 5 engine and 4 x liquid Booster L34
 

martinbayer

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Thanks, Michel!

I share your skepticism regarding PM illustrations ;D.

You previously mentioned though that the 1982 Ariane 5R common core booster version had more fuel than the Ariane 4. What was the first stage propellant load on that version, since both the initial and final variants appear to have been L220?

Martin
 

Michel Van

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martinbayer said:
Thanks, Michel!

I share your skepticism regarding PM illustrations ;D.

You previously mentioned though that the 1982 Ariane 5R common core booster version had more fuel than the Ariane 4. What was the first stage propellant load on that version, since both the initial and final variants appear to have been L220?

Martin
the problem with that in some literature
say L330 to L234 but that can be missprint or missunderstanding by author
because thinkting 5 Viking engine need more fuel
or take the real fuelmass of 234 tons of Ariane 4 first stage
CNES literature says L210 to L220 stage also in Illustration

here CNES Illustration on 1979 Ariane 5 to 1982 Ariane 5R
http://www.capcomespace.net/dossiers/espace_europeen/ariane/ariane5/1979%20concept%2001.jpg
http://www.capcomespace.net/dossiers/espace_europeen/ariane/ariane5/1979%20concept%2003.jpg
http://www.capcomespace.net/dossiers/espace_europeen/ariane/ariane5/1982%20concept%2005.jpg
 

martinbayer

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Thanks again, Michel!

Now we're getting onto the same page - your previous 'more fuel' comment really threw me for a loop. I had come across allegations of Ariane versions with five Vikings in the first stage before, such as in this Naval Postgraduate School Thesis http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA282429&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf and even in Sutton's "History of Liquid Propellant Engines" http://books.google.com/books?id=s1C9Oo2I4VYC&pg=PA801&lpg=PA801&dq=ariane+%22five+viking%22&source=bl&ots=eM5aVaawKT&sig=7in1kJWNtbKFiFuGNnS4s9j8bHY&hl=en&ei=k8PcSvXqHozuswOWsoyyCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=ariane%20%22five%20viking%22&f=false, but these sources falsely attributed the five engine configuration to members of the original Ariane 1 - 4 family and are clearly based on misinformation.

Martin
 

Michel Van

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Here some info about MTFF, one reason for the Hermes program

Man-Tended Free Flyer
was ESA idea for a minimum "European space station"
only visit periodically by Hermes or docking on US space station FREEDOM
the Project can be traced back to CNES Solaris proposal, a Orbital Platform supply by unmanned Capsule

MTFF is a Spacelab module with Docking system at one end and at other end a service module with large twin solar-module
Payload in Spacelab had be 5000 kg and get 5 kW power by SM
MTFF is launch with Ariane 5 in a 500 km high orbit with 28,5° inclination in co-orbit with US space station FREEDOM
in case of emergency, someone is send over to MTFF and fix it.
every 6 month a Hermes is launch for retract experiment and resupply the MTFF
every 3 or 4 years MTFF dock with US space station FREEDOM for reconfiguration
(replace the International Standard Payload Rack and transport them with Space Shuttle ?)

ESA had play with idea to expand MTFF with more Module to manned European space station

NOTE:
the also used Term "Columbus Man-Tended Free Flyer" is misleading
Because MTFF was part of ESA Columbus Program:
Man-Tended Free Flyer
Attached Pressurized Module (today ISS Columbus Module)
unmanned Polar Platform

Source:
Handbuch der Raumfahrt
Hallmann/Ley
1987 Hanser Verlag ISBN-3-446-15130-3
page 599
 

Johnbr

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    • The initial module of Columbus, the MTFF, docked with the proposed mini-shuttle Hermes. At this point the space station would be unpressurized and unmanned except when astronauts were retrieving its experiments, but the APM (which eventually evolved into the ISS module Columbus) would be attached later to add a small living space. Image source unknown, believed to be the ESA

      What it was: A European effort to turn their contribution to the American space station Freedom into an independent space station of their own, hoisted into orbit by ESA rockets and serviced by an ESA shuttle.

      Details: The European Space Agency signed on to Ronald Reagan’s suggested internationalization of the Freedom station right from the moment he made the offer in 1984. They had been developing the pressurized Spacelab module for use in the Space Shuttle’s cargo bay since the early 1970s, and now pushed for the new space station to build on components derived from their work. As part of this they started the Columbus project, which among other goals would have them make one such component—the Attached Pressurized Module (APM)—on their own for inclusion in the completed Freedom.

      Another part of the project was to be semi-autonomous right from the initial planning, though. The Man-Tended Free Flying Platform (MTFF) was to have been a two-segment unmanned Spacelab module which would detach from Freedom and move to a nearby orbit. This would allow for sensitive, teleoperated microgravity experiments away from the noisy, manned Freedom and, a round of experiments completed, it would return for maintenance at the main station.

      During the mid- to late-1980s, though, Freedom had a rough ride in the US Congress and the ESA started developing contingency plans for what to do with Columbus if the American station was cancelled. Couple this with massive increases in prices to use the Space Shuttle—then the Challenger disaster temporarily making its cargo bay unavailable at any price—and from 1989-92 these plans culminated in an entirely autonomous station that the Europeans would try if remaining part of the now downsized and re-named Alpha (AKA “Space Station Fred”) became too unpalatable.

      The initial station would have been the unmanned MTFF, but now the experiments would have been retrieved by the ESA’s Hermes shuttle, which along with the Ariane-5 rocket had been approved as an unrelated project in 1987. In 1991 the three were melded into one big project.


      Two suggested expansions of Columbus beyond its initial two modules. Image source unknown, believed to be the ESA. Click for a larger view.

      The MTFF, Hermes, and the French launcher were to be joined by a fourth piece of the puzzle: the APM, now divorced from Alpha. Once the unmanned MTFF-based station was proven, the APM would be completed and launched on an Ariane-5 (or possibly in an US Shuttle’s cargo bay, if renting it turned out to be cheaper and more convenient). It would then dock with the MTFF to produce an entirely European manned facility, Columbus. The long-term, if somewhat nebulous, plan was then to add more and more modules as time went by.

      Statistics on the Columbus are surprisingly hard to come by. Based on the actual ISS module that was derived from it, though, we can presume that its two working modules would totaled about 14 meters in length, with the power module and station-keeping ion engine at the MTFF end adding about another 5 meters. Its total mass would have been in the range of 25 to 30 tonnes, which would have made it a bit bigger than the Soviet Salyut stations, but less than 25% the size of Mir and about 6% the size the ISS. Accordingly it probably would have had the same sort of missions as the Salyuts, involving two or three astronauts for a few days up to several months.

      The budget for the station was calculated at US$5.3 billion, including operations for five years.
 

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Hobbes

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some of the images are missing?
 

Michel Van

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There is a unknown part on Hermes story : Russian collaboration on Hermes !


it was short but interesting R&D between NPO Energiija and ESA around 1993.
so what went wrong ?
NPO belief the mini Shuttle must be 30 ton heavy, with 5 ton payload, so they proposed the Zenit's as Booster for Ariane 5 core stage.
Finally they proposed the Energia-M launcher vehicle (with recoverbale Zenit booster).


Source:
Flug Revue 6/1993
page 72
Autor: Götz Wange
 

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Graham1973

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The only picture missing is the cameo appearance in the Simpsons...
 

hesham

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Hi,


here is a drawings to Ariane 5 and Hermes,the middle one is strange a little.


Flieger Revue 5/1985
 

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Hobbes

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The middle one looks like the ESC second stage as used on the Ariane 5 ECA.
 

blackstar

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I always thought that Hermes was a neat looking spacecraft. Looks better than DreamChaser.
 

djfawcett

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and .......... it is far more capable, but it is much larger.
 

flateric

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http://www.marspapers.org/papers/Herholz_2006_pres.pdf
 

Archibald

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Wonderful document, thanks a lot Flateric !
 

Riverghost

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Great article, loads of info! Think i might have to make a couple of 3d models from the information provided within!
 
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