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Smaller, Cheaper and Simpler Spacecraft

Posted by: Andy Hill - Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:59 am
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Smaller, Cheaper and Simpler Spacecraft 
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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:06 pm
It seems more likely that ESA and Russia will be building Kliper together if you can believe this article, any official ESA announcement will probably not be made until December.

http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/re ... nshut.html

I thought there was a danger of ESA just bankrolling the Russians but it suggests that Europe might be asked to supply avionics and heatshield technology amongst other things to the project so there seems to be genuine collaboration rather than use of just Russian technology.

Also launching near the equator from Kourou would enable the use of an uprated Soyuz which would involve ESA still further. I'm not sure what the cost increase compared to the current Soyuz will be. Hopefully this will be a lower cost per astronaut launched into orbit.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:11 pm
There are two aspects at least.

One aspect is that what the Russians have said in the public increases the success of the plan and the project the political way. That talk indicates their serious interest in cooperation with ESA plus it causes significant but not too much pressure on the council of ministers to agree to the plan. The talk assists ESA.

The second aspect is that ESA get significant control of the vehicles and its design - which makes it a real joint vehicle. ESA get control of portions of the technology and especially the heat shielding perhaps - there still is the heat shield technology developed by the german DLR which is that superior to the Shuttle's tiles that NASA visited DLR to get informations

A third aspect may be that the cooperation frees Russia from investments in development - very reasonable and a significant step to space missions and space as a human project instead of a national one.

At last one mainly political argument - an agreement og the Council of Ministers increases the chance to impact russian policies towards freedom and democracy.

Here in germany too there was an article recently speaking about the Kliper - repeating the earlier statement that Kliper will launch manned in 2012 first.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

PS: It will be interesting to see if also tourists will be flown abord Kliper - Russia officialy and expressively assist space tourism and the Europeans have in mind since long to lease Columbus to privates once it is in orbit...


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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 10, 2005 11:06 am
Under www.marssociety.de there was an article last week saying that ESA has decided to invest 10 million Euros into the Kliper. This has not been confirmed by another article under www.welt.de today - but this article adds another number: the Russian are going to invest $9 billion into the Kliper.

So ESA is said to invest around 1/90 of the russian investment - I didn't calculate the EAS-investment in dollars.



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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:24 pm
I think that is a mistake Ekke, all the articles I've seen quote $1B over 5 years as the investment necessary to get Kliper flying. Considering thata the whole of Russian expenditure for space is under $1B a year I think that a £9B investment in a single project is unlikely. The US expediture on the CEV is only supposed to be $5B over the next 5 years and I cant see the Russians spending nearly double that.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:36 pm
May be perhaps that a mistake is involved - but I am not that sure because "Die Welt" is a very important and serious newspaper which does recherches of high quality. So a mistake will have caused by someone else in the chain of their connections.

I will try to check the information since it is concerning an aspect too essential here. But it may take a whiel becuase I am thinking about the other threads here currently - which is still delaying work on two threads in the Regulations section. Reason of that all (and more): the topics here are fascinating... :)



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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:26 am
Hi all,
I thought this link may be interesting with respect to financial barriers (or not) to space. Just yesterday I did some calc's on SpaceX's Falcons and came up with the following figures:
Type Payload Diameter $/kg to LEO to GEO
F1 3.6m 11,755 n/a
F5 3.6m 4,390 17,143
F9 3.6m 2,903 7,941
F9 5.2m 4,023 11,290
F9 S5 5.2m 3,090 7,969
F9 S9 5.2m 3,152 8,083

Now there's quite a few assumptions being made in this like full utilisation of the payload capacity however it does raise present an interesting picture regarding the best options based simply on $/kg to LEO and GEO.

It's particularly interesting when you consider the following article at:

http://www.space.com/adastra/adastra_me ... 51013.html

I think that article asks a very legitimate question ie. why is NASA so intent on massive launch capability? The only things that I can think of are:
1. less launches mean less risk - not necessarily as the number of launches is not in itself a risk factor for consideration, and
2. reduced construction activities in space - again not specifically a 'risk factor'.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

I've just noticed that NASA is considering awarding a contract to build 5 unpressurised cargo modules for the shuttle.

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=18344

Apparently this is because they won't be able to get enough hardware up to the ISS to meet their contractual responsibilities without it. It seems a little strange to justify $120 million in expenditure on shuttle cargo units when there are other ways of getting cargo to the ISS on existing and planned vehicles. Mod's would be required but I wouldn't think they'd cost so much and they could continue after the shuttle is retired!!

Again any thoughts??

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:36 am
By the way, I was thinking of the shuttle as a RHLV however that isn't actually the case as the following link indicates.

http://www.marscenter.it/eng/spacests.htm

I realise that it is actually the shuttle-derived hardware that will be the HLV's :oops:

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:33 pm
beancounter wrote:
I've just noticed that NASA is considering awarding a contract to build 5 unpressurised cargo modules for the shuttle.

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=18344

Apparently this is because they won't be able to get enough hardware up to the ISS to meet their contractual responsibilities without it. It seems a little strange to justify $120 million in expenditure on shuttle cargo units when there are other ways of getting cargo to the ISS on existing and planned vehicles. Mod's would be required but I wouldn't think they'd cost so much and they could continue after the shuttle is retired!!

Again any thoughts??


Seems to be a sensible way of shipping stuuff up to the ISS, if the new modules double or triple the amount that can be sent with the remaining shuttle flights then its still much cheaper than sending cargo rockets on a regular basis, even if the US had the ability to remotely dock a ship to the ISS (how much as DARPA already spent trying to get that sorted?).

NASA spends more than $120m on a single expendable launch vehicle so it seems a bit of a bargain, at least in NASA terms. If they are obligated to ship a certain amount of stuff to the ISS I dont see them doing it any other way, designing something like ESA's ATV would take them to long and cost an absolute fortune. I suppose they could pay ESA or Russians to ship it for them but again that would cost more than $120m.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:44 pm
ATV has been pushed back to 2007 according to Space News, due to defects.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:56 am
publiusr wrote:
ATV has been pushed back to 2007 according to Space News, due to defects.


Last I heard things were progressing OK and only a slight delay might be on the cards, now its over a year. Does anything ever fly on time? :(

Cant see anyone running a sheduled service (including Virgin Galactic) in the near future with all the technical problems that beset launches, which will keep volume down and prices up.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:21 pm
Not to mention that we still haven't had anything about SS2 released yet; not even the number of passengers per flight has been fixed in stone, if I remember correctly.

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Post    Posted on: Mon Oct 31, 2005 10:16 am
The number of passengers per SS2-flight publishes was seven a few months ago and six to seven recently. This article was quoting that Branson continues to want more seats but no number desired has been reported. So I currently suppose that there will be no change yet.



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