• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Joint US-Euro ATV follow on?

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
From the BBC:


The current ATV [PHOTO CREDIT: BBC]


ATV docked at the ISS [PHOTO CREDIT: BBC]


US and Europe plan new spaceship
By Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent, BBC News

Europe and the US could be building a spaceship together later this decade.

It is one of the ideas being considered as Europe ponders the next evolution of its ATV orbital freighter.

The sophisticated robotic vessel is used to transport up to 7.5 tonnes of supplies to the space station, but only three more units are in production.

Europe is now looking to develop a derivative of the ship and a joint venture with the Americans on a future vessel is being discussed.

The European Space Agency's Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, said the new concept must leverage the capabilities of the existing vehicle, such as its automatic rendezvous and docking technology, but that its precise role was up for debate.

He wants the broad concept laid out by the autumn so that he can present it to Esa member states for consideration.

"We shall work with the US space agency in a way that I can present in October a proposal on a new vehicle that in my view should be derived from the ATV, but which for the first time will be embedded into a common vision between Nasa and Esa," he told BBC News.

"I cannot tell you what type of vehicle it will be because this is not something I can define myself; this is something we have to define together - Nasa and Esa.

"What I have in mind is a part that will be built by Europe and a part by the United States; and which together can make a transportation vehicle."

Tech testbed

The Automated Transfer Vehicle is the biggest spaceship ever built in Europe. Although unmanned in flight, once attached to the International Space Station astronauts can move freely around inside it.

At launch, it weighs some 20 tonnes, and its primary purpose is to haul fuel, water, air, food and equipment to the space station.

Its colossal load forms the basis of the "subscription fee" Europe pays to belong to the orbiting project.

But with only three more freighters set to fly beyond the vessel already attached to the international outpost, Esa thinks it imperative that Europe define a follow-on as soon as possible so that the industrial expertise gained on ATV can be maintained and developed.

While the new concept ship is still something of a blank sheet of paper, it will have fit with what the ISS partners hope to achieve at the station in the coming decade and the 2020s.

First and foremost, the ISS will be a busy platform for doing science experiments in microgravity. But the partners also want to see the station become a testbed for the technologies and techniques humans will need when they push out beyond low-Earth orbit to explore destinations such as asteroids and Mars.

It is in this context that the future ATV-derived vehicle could play some kind of role - manned or unmanned.

Potential projects it could get involved in might include the assembly at the ISS of the components required to make a deep-space craft. This craft might even undertake a brief foray beyond the station; and the ISS partners have already discussed the idea of repeating the 1968 Apollo 8 mission that saw three astronauts loop behind the back of the Moon.

"People are thinking about ideas that have increasing degrees of complexity," explained Esa's ISS programme manager, Bernardo Patti.

"First, perhaps it is a check-out mission of an exploration vehicle to the ISS. The second is to make a sortie that goes well beyond low-Earth orbit - with a crew or without a crew. And then having an Apollo 8 type of visit around the Moon makes perfect sense," he told BBC News.

Whatever concept emerges from the discussions between Esa and Nasa, its adoption will have to fight for funding in an extremely tight fiscal environment.

Germany is the lead nation in Europe on the ISS project. Its contribution accounts for some 40% of the Esa part of the station programme, and the head of the German space agency (DLR), Professor Jan Woerner, told the BBC he did not think the finances were available at present to proceed with a post-ATV ship.

Professor Woerner's own preference would be for Europe to develop a capability to safely re-enter the Earth's atmosphere - something the present ATV cannot do; it burns up as it falls back to Earth.

"Of course all the numbers have been defined within the financial crisis and my hope is that in three years' time or so, we will have new numbers, new chances, new possibilities - and that we can raise this question again."

Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13286238
 

blackstar

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
I'm really scratching my head on this one because it makes no sense. Why would NASA be involved in this at all when it currently has Orbital Sciences and SpaceX competing to develop a similar ISS resupply spacecraft? NASA could end up with two of its own vehicles, so why would it work on a third?

The more I work in the space policy field the less I understand...
 

archipeppe

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
blackstar said:
I'm really scratching my head on this one because it makes no sense. Why would NASA be involved in this at all when it currently has Orbital Sciences and SpaceX competing to develop a similar ISS resupply spacecraft? NASA could end up with two of its own vehicles, so why would it work on a third?

The more I work in the space policy field the less I understand...

I fully agree with you.

My guess that the manned-ATV follow on is become highly unlikely (ATV-6 and 7 are cancelled), probably a sort of US involvement it is showed up only in order to force ESA members to pursue such programme.

US involvement in post-ATV programme it is not only unlikely it is no-nonsense for the reasons resumed above by Blackstar...
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
blackstar said:
I'm really scratching my head on this one because it makes no sense. Why would NASA be involved in this at all when it currently has Orbital Sciences and SpaceX competing to develop a similar ISS resupply spacecraft? NASA could end up with two of its own vehicles, so why would it work on a third?

The more I work in the space policy field the less I understand...

On the other hand, the ATV is already flying, pretty successfully so far.
 

starviking

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Grey Havoc said:
blackstar said:
I'm really scratching my head on this one because it makes no sense. Why would NASA be involved in this at all when it currently has Orbital Sciences and SpaceX competing to develop a similar ISS resupply spacecraft? NASA could end up with two of its own vehicles, so why would it work on a third?

The more I work in the space policy field the less I understand...

On the other hand, the ATV is already flying, pretty successfully so far.

And the ATV is also pretty hefty, and has a good lifetime in orbit. I think the SpaceX and OS resupply vehicles are considerably smaller (My google-fu has failed to find solid comparators though) - so more room for upgrades with the ATV.
 

brunobardini

CLEARANCE: Restricted
you scratch yourselves the head it is normal to know this subject it takes a time is little to have a space culture,it is not a critical.
In first time ISS paid to France its authorization of overflight by an interest with the project initially characterizes by time of flight for doctors test pilot physicists .
In the second time France have an additional expertise with American with regard to space radiations and the satelisation and space medicine.
In the third time France and Russia have decided to leave over Mars and it is the best and most courageous idea and Russia is our best intellectual allies and friends of France since the end of the cold war and more.
Patrick Baudry thought the same thing on this subject it was necessary to be posed over Mars and not on the Moon (advanced idea).
Russia tries with poutine to take again the world leadership of space, what they can obviously claim.
American has a technological advance on Europe but not really of marked intellectual cuture.
Their projects are often useless and very expensive.
Russians an exellent low-tech a real love for space like us and intelligent solutions.
They are hard with the task and courageous
NASA is too big and too superficial and so much high tech with no really simply and correct ideas and there is so much private enterprise in one word bad lobbys.
China don't know what they make in space i's a question of image.
We learned how to lanch them with Russians.
But no one want to fly with them.
That's why america need France.
For this reason they let to us work and utliser our ATV like progress with the case also or Putin will pose problems of oil embargo and gas embargo.
To divide for better reigning.
And a lot of technic and politic reasons.
Excuse me but i'm writing english like a spanish cow.
 

archipeppe

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Considering that even if ATV is good and successfull cargo a suitable manned version would be rather different and it will take long time to be realized (considering ESA average development time).

On the other side, SpaceX Dragon is for sure smaller than ATV but it is recoverable something that the actual ATV is not designed for.
So there is any chance for any manned ATV-derivative to be competitive with Dragon-M and so on, and also considering the crisis times that we live in there is no reason for US to put money in Euro-French project only to make a favor to Paris....

For sure when the manned version of Dragon will came out in near future it will kick-off the various Soyuz (and its substitutes), manned ATV and even it could threat the Orion (or post-Orion) project with its uncertain future.
 

bigvlada

CLEARANCE: Secret
it will kick-off the various Soyuz (and its substitutes)

hmm, reliability should also be a very important factor for every future space tourist (government astronauts/cosmonauts do not have the privilege to choose). If you had the money you would choose dragon over soyuz? How many falcon/dragon vehicles have been launched? And compare that to soyuz numbers. That fifty years old design is still the safest way to fly and it will not vanish overnight.
 

archipeppe

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
bigvlada said:
it will kick-off the various Soyuz (and its substitutes)

hmm, reliability should also be a very important factor for every future space tourist (government astronauts/cosmonauts do not have the privilege to choose). If you had the money you would choose dragon over soyuz? How many falcon/dragon vehicles have been launched? And compare that to soyuz numbers. That fifty years old design is still the safest way to fly and it will not vanish overnight.

Sure, Soyuz (capsule and rocket) are both really space wokhorses but I don't know for space tourist, the US governemnt will sure eager to pay an US spacecraft rather than a Russian one, especially if the American spacecraft will also cost less...
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Most of the work needed for a manned ATV variant has already been done, the main sticking point is designing an effective and economical re-entry system. Perhaps separately launching a compact manoeuvring module (like NASA's late '80's Orbital Transfer Vehicle) with a heatshield and other systems necessary for re-entry and having it dock with the manned ATV after it has finished the main part of it's mission?

EDIT: Ack! I was asleep at the keyboard again! I meant Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle! The TRW design in particular. Although you could use a scaled down OTV design as well, I suppose.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Earlier related topic: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3030.0.html
 

Hobbes

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
The announcement in the original post led to an ESA-NASA agreement where ESA supplies an ATV-derived service module for the Orion capsule.
Orion is being developed for long-duration trips, while the Commercial Crew (CCtCap) contracts are for short-duration ISS ferry flights. It is unlikely CCtCap will derail Orion, in addition to the difference in function Orion is tied to the pork-barrel SLS project, that alone will make it difficult to cancel.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Triton said:
Video for Lockheed Martin Jupiter spacecraft

Published on Mar 12, 2015

This video explains Lockheed Martin’s safe, reliable, and affordable solution for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 program. This solution will deliver and dispose of a large quantity of International Space Station (ISS) cargo. In addition to ISS servicing, the solution proposed by Lockheed Martin develops technologies that are needed to support future human-rated deep space missions. Learn more about our Commercial Resupply Services 2 program: www.lockheedmartin.com/crs2

https://youtu.be/WkJOUoJK8kA
 

Byeman

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Having a Euro supplier does not mean it is "joint". Joint implies providing funding. Nor is it an ATV follow on, it is just another contender for the CRS-2 contract.


(This thread duplicates another thread http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,24045.msg244929.html#new)
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Hobbes said:
The announcement in the original post led to an ESA-NASA agreement where ESA supplies an ATV-derived service module for the Orion capsule.
Orion is being developed for long-duration trips, while the Commercial Crew (CCtCap) contracts are for short-duration ISS ferry flights. It is unlikely CCtCap will derail Orion, in addition to the difference in function Orion is tied to the pork-barrel SLS project, that alone will make it difficult to cancel.



ORIGINAL CAPTION: Artist's impression: The conical Orion capsule sits in front of its European service module

There are a host of other key decisions to come out of the Ministerial Council covering all manner of different satellite projects. But a few headlines are sure to concern human spaceflight.

There will almost certainly be a commitment to stay in the International Space Station project up until at least 2024. This would bring Europe into line with its partners on the orbiting laboratory - the US, Russia, Japan and Canada.

However, in the way that Esa budget cycles work, the money released here in Lucerne will only actually cover activities up to 2021.

Nonetheless, this would be sufficient to trigger new opportunities for European astronauts to fly to the ISS and for European industry to start building a second "service module" for America’s forthcoming crewship known as Orion.

This capsule has been commissioned by the US space agency to take people out into the Solar System to destinations such as Mars.

By constructing its propulsive back end, Europe hopes to get seats on board for its astronauts.
Grey Havoc said:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38165211
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member

The European Service Module (ESM) can be thought of as the back end of Orion.

It pushes the capsule through space, is responsible for its power supply and temperature control, and holds all the water and gases needed to sustain those riding onboard.

The US space agency (Nasa) asked Esa to source Orion service modules to cement their ongoing partnership at the International Space Station (ISS) and to pull Europe into the missions that are planned to go beyond low-Earth orbit.

Nasa has initiated what it calls the Artemis programme to go back to the lunar surface. The Esa/Airbus collaboration has already supplied a service module for the first of this project's missions, Artemis I.

This will be an uncrewed test of Orion and its launch rocket, and is likely to take place in 2021.

Artemis II will see astronauts board Orion for a loop around the Moon. An ESM for this flight is already under contract and in assembly.

Artemis III will be the mission that attempts to make a landing. At the moment this is scheduled for 2024, and the newly contracted service module will be a key piece of mission hardware.

The ESM's role will be to get Orion to the vicinity of the Moon and bring it safely back to Earth. Other components will be required for the descent and ascent phases of the surface operation.

Airbus assembles the service modules at its Bremen facility in Germany.

The design borrows heavily from the uncrewed cargo truck Europe used to run to the space station called the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).

At one time, Europe thought of adapting this truck into a human transportation system of its own, but ultimately baulked at the cost.

Nonetheless, the performance and reliability of the ATV made it an ideal template for Orion's service module.

Cylindrical in shape, the ESM is about 4m wide and tall, and weighs just over 13 tonnes. Airbus is now able to produce it at a substantially reduced cost. The contract for the very first module, signed in 2014, was valued at €390m.

ESMs are given to the Americans as an in-kind contribution to cover the cost of European operations at the space station. But the clear hope from the European perspective is that the integral relationship built up on the capsule will eventually lead to an Esa astronaut being part of an Orion crew that goes to the Moon.

 
Top Bottom