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ATV as a lunar cargo ship

Posted by: Andy Hill - Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:12 pm
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ATV as a lunar cargo ship 
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Post ATV as a lunar cargo ship   Posted on: Tue Jul 12, 2005 3:12 pm
What about using ESA's ATV as a cargo carrier for the moon?

Does it carry enough fuel to allow its ISS reboost engine to put it into a lunar trajectory and place it in orbit around the moon? Could the ATV be used to service an orbiting lunar station or with an armadillo type craft transfer cargo to the lunar surface?

Not sure whether the on board guidance systems are up to it but ESA has made a lot of noise over its automatic systems and they seem to be pretty comprehensive from the amount of hardware they have been fitting to the outside of the ISS.

Better yet fit some seats in the pressurised section and use it as a ferry between the moon and Earth for crew.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 13, 2005 1:27 pm
I gotta say it: your cellphone is perfectly capable of doing the computations needed to guide a vehicle (NGAAH!! Ship. I meant spaceship -- or have we changed that again? :wink:) to the Moon and back. Not to mention any laptop. I'm generally of the opinion that the aerospace electronics industry (just the computers, not the sensors themselves) is another legacy from the Cold War when computer systems were wholly owned by the governments.

Of course, I'm also of the opinion that interchangeble parts and modular designs should be used throughout most of the aerospace and automobile industries -- a generally unpopular opinion with the establishment.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 13, 2005 5:45 pm
The Ariane M would allow that capability. The Smart-1 lunar probe was sent by an electric drive to the moon--but with a very long delay. That mission got away with an Ariane 5--but the Euros will need more than that to get an ATM to the moon--esp. if supplies are needed quickly.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:47 pm
I was thinking of using the ATV's own propulsion system to give it the kick needed but I guess its still a long way from LEO to the moon. I'm not sure that its engines would have enough thrust to get it to lunar orbit without some major modifications and a lot of extra fuel.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:07 pm
The Ariane 5 class UR-500 Proton did just manage to send a rump Soyuz (unmanned) on a circumlunar thump in several ZOND missions--but it was missing its forward sphere and came back hard. ATV is more massive than Progress and therefore can in no way get out to the moon on its own.

Ariane-M could get it out there, however--to service a lunar mission of some kind.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:52 pm
When does the ATV fly ?


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:37 pm
The last thing I saw was that it was due to fly this summer but its probably slipped to nearer the end of this year if its track record is anything to go on. Here's the latest news article on ESA's site:

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ATV/SEMKL4QJNVE_0.html

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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:01 am
As predicted ATV has now slipped to November:

http://space.com/news/070316_iss_europedelays.html

I wish ESA wold get its act together. :cry:

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Post    Posted on: Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:45 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
As predicted ATV has now slipped to November:


Bit of a disaster,
what's keeping them delayed with the ISS, ESA probelms ? or did the Columbia accident mess them up aswell ?

I still think Europe has good potential in space


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Post    Posted on: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:00 pm
If you read the space.com article linked, the reasons for the delay are
Quote:
to complete integration of Russian and European components on the vehicle and resolve outstanding performance issues.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:26 pm
Yet another delay, january now

http://spacefellowship.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?t=2827

Even though the reason given is "the amount of traffic" at the ISS it really shouldn't take this long to get the ATV launched. I think there's supposed to be something like 7 of these things being launched, ESA needs to sort the problems out to get this flying regularly.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:10 am
According to an article under www.marssociety.de the ATV is going to be delivered next week - 28th of June 2007 - and launched in first quarter of 2008.

The article also mentions that the ATV would be a proper vehicle towards the Moon and the capability of the european industry to develop an according lunar vehicle based on the experiences made during the development of the ATV.

According to the article there is a sufficient number of proposals by the industry and the problem is the political decision to make that reality.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:26 pm
An idea about the topic - what about permanently keeping an ATV in space? That ATV then could travel between the Moon and the ISS - it only would need an Earth Departure Stage or an analogon to it plus a stage for the return to Earth.

Then this Moon-going ATV wouldn't have to be carried into orbit again and again and again and it would be sufficient to launch the cargo it would have to carry to the Moon.

...?

What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:16 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
What about it?

Probably to cheap.


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Post Re: ATV as a lunar cargo ship   Posted on: Sun Jul 29, 2007 2:26 pm
[quote="Andy Hill"]What about using ESA's ATV as a cargo carrier for the moon?

Does it carry enough fuel to allow its ISS reboost engine to put it into a lunar trajectory and place it in orbit around the moon?

--------------

Short answer, no it does not, not even close.

You will find the ATV spec sheet at this URL:

http://www.spaceflight.esa.int/users/do ... 12_atv.pdf

From there, the weight breakdown is like this:

The fully loaded launch weight of ATV is 20.7 tonnes, this includes 9.0 tonnes of payload. The dry weight of ATV is 10,470 kg

The weight of consumables is 2,613 kg, which presumably includes all the ISS boost propellant plus unknown other consumables, e.g. attitude control and rendezvous maneuvering propellant.

The problem with ATV is that is has a very high dry weight. Based on that I estimate that even if all the payload were converted to extra reboost propellant, it could not even launch itself from LEO to the Moon at all, let alone take any payload with it.

So ATV payload capability to Lunar transfer orbit (LTO) is zero kilograms, since it cannot even get itself to LTO.

For a typical lunar transfer upper stage, the propellant weight needs to exceed the dry weight by a factor of several times. In this case, the dry weight is about equal to the propellant weight.

------

But ATV might fit into the VSE lunar architecture. There are plans to dock an EDS boost stage to the manned CEV/LSAM spacecraft in LEO, then boost it into LTO. You could dock the same EDS upper stage to an ATV and then boost the ATV into LTO.

EDS is designed to boost a stack comprising CEV and LSAM into LTO. The LSAM/CEV stack weighs about three times the ATV.

According to astronautix.com, CEV will weigh about 20 tonnes. The LSAM would weight about double that (numbers are not yet finalized). So the ATV with EDS could probably carry much more than the baseline 9000 ATV payload into LTO, more like 50 tonnes.

Once the ATV reaches the vicinity of the Moon, its on-board systems might be capable of braking it into a high elliptical lunar orbit, I have not run the numbers. If so, then whether it has enough propellant to circularize into a low lunar orbit would require some additional calculations to figure out.


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