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Is ESA's Aurora program serious space exploration?

Posted by: Andy Hill - Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:26 pm
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Is ESA's Aurora program serious space exploration? 
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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 16, 2005 4:25 pm
I revised the kliper links above, seeing that Aurora may use it.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:34 am
It appears that there has not been much support for Kliper during the first day of ESA discussions in Berlin.

http://www.space.com/news/051205_clipper.html

ESA wants more control over the project, the current scheme has it as not much more than a component supplier which would not give it much experience in building manned craft. I thought that they were being asked to play a bigger role.

JAXA has said that it would be less likely to be involved if ESA was not part of the project. It seems the Russians will have to either change the terms of involvement or build it on their own which is likely to take longer. :(

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Post    Posted on: Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:04 pm
I think this press release item I posted describes all in very very detail:
http://www.spacefellowship.com/News/?p=1299

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:16 am
The Clipper Preparatory Programme

Extending human spaceflight activities beyond low earth orbit and increasing the global robustness of human access to space requires the development of new crew transportation systems. The Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, is initiating work on Clipper, a partially reusable transportation system (to replace the Soyuz spacecraft) to serve exploration purposes following initial missions to the ISS. Roscosmos has proposed that ESA participates in the development and operation of the system. Such participation would give Europe access to space at a much lower cost than an autonomous route.

An in-depth investigation of the content and modalities of such cooperation will be performed in a two-year (2006/2007) Clipper Preparatory Programme, with a view to preparing a decision on a joint development and future operations preparation programme at the Council meeting at Ministerial level in 2008. This phase will identify the mission and system requirements, establish a preliminary design, initiate technology demonstration, define the respective roles, responsibilities and rights of the partners, identify and quantify the cost and schedule for European participation and prepare the formal arrangements necessary for such a joint undertaking. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has expressed a wish to join ESA in this cooperation, with Roscosmos and other entities of the Russian Federation as may be required.




The plan seems to be similar to the foreign participation programs for the F-35 JSF where potential customers or sub-contracting nations can pay a sum of money to either be briefed on the progress before deciding to buy in or manufacture equipment.

It is a cautious approach; they (ESA) appeared to have rejected outright requests from the Russians for funds. The reasons given seems pretty valid. If ESA is not going to much say in the design n construction, they will be nothing more than a financier for the program which ESA does not want.

While ESA reconigzes the Russians as one of the key partners in providing manned space access, I think they also do not want to be beholden to them.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:41 am
I thought that ESA might play a bigger role but it seems that if all the Russians want from them is the finance and a few bits of technology then ESA would be better off going it alone or possibly with JAXA, who I think are looking to get more involved with manned space flight.

Pity if it had been a partnership then I think there would have been benefits to both sides, but as a cash cow ESA should spend its money elsewhere. I think that this goes to show that ESA really needs its own crew transportation system, I dont think that they will be able to achieve a manned Mars mission (one of Aurora's objectives) without it.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:41 pm
Andy Hill wrote:
(...) I think that this goes to show that ESA really needs its own crew transportation system, I dont think that they will be able to achieve a manned Mars mission (one of Aurora's objectives) without it.


Well, the first objective of Aurora, a robotic Mars exploration (The Exo-Mars for launch in 2011), has been funded at the ministerial council this week. Even the British were interested in this. That goes a long way to prove Aurora is for real, answering your original question in this topic.

As for a crew transportation system, ESA's role has often been to ensure independent European access to a space technology the moment that technology is considered to be strategically important for Europe - such as Ariane, and more recently the "programme for non-dependence". Accordingly, if manned spaceflight goes high enough on the agenda, ESA will no doubt do this; until then, they'll be more than happy to ensure access via a partnership.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 07, 2005 8:59 pm
As Chinese missions get more impressive and Russia and the US start to have more manned missions and fund more space technology, ESA will more and more look like the poor cousin and European pride might start to get prickled. Soon the questions of why havent we got a crew transport vehicle and why are we forced to rely on other nations to launch our astronauts will start to surface.

If JAXA and ISRO start to develop manned vehicles, ESA will not wish to be left out. Because of the long development timescales they cannot afford to be left sitting on the shelf for to much longer.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:31 am
Since ESA has a budget much smaller than the US I could imagine that they decide to go the way NASA is starting to go currently: use privately financed vehicles if they get a supplier of private orbital access.

This depends only on where ARCA, Starchaser, Talis and some inferior ones will go. Even Canadian Arrow might be a supplier since Canada is associated to ESA at least.

And ARCA is going to work together with Canadian Arrow futurely. Geoff Sheerin has been quoted to have said that they might achieve more by technological partnership.

I am mentioning this because ESA explicitly has in mind to lease out Columbus to private companies - partially at least.



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


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:59 am
ESA should and is more likely to go to the direction of developing their own independent manned access transport system. The Chinese and to a lesser degree have shown that such a program is not necessarily a BN Euro program.

Political will remains a issue.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:25 am
I am doubting that ESA, other european governemtns or even the western world is willing and capable of developing vehicles at the costs the Chinese can do that: pressure groups, lobbyists of particular interests, budget problems, etatism and the like.

Private financed vehicles are no thread to european independency compared to the actual interdependency to the US and to Russia.

The Ariane had been privatized for good reasons and hadn't been developed further by ESA but by EADS.

But EADS never has tried seriously to provide independent manned european access to orbit and in particular to the ISS

May be ARCA and others will try. Since ARCA is romanian it is not unlikely that the romanian government consideres ARAC to be one of the germs, cores and chance of the economical recovery of Romania - ARCA is a technology company doing innovations. Romania might consider them to be one ticket to their european integration, economic growth and especially to sales to ESA or the EU. If Romania wants to join ESA ARCA could be a reasonable contribution and if ESA or it's member want to get Romania involved Romania might try to force them to use ARCA.

All of this would increase the GNP of Romania and be in the interest of the EU.

The critical point is if ARCA - in partnership with CA - will try to get into the orbit after suborbital success and if they get the capital and the investors required to achieve the orbit.



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


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:37 pm
its not serious.

but I think they'll soon send another orbiter like MarsExpress-II


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:18 pm
They are more focused on LVs for the moment as you can see:
http://www.flashespace.com/html/esa.htm
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Launchers_H ... GQD_1.html


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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 17, 2006 12:23 pm
publiusr wrote:


totally shocking ! what if the Europeans get moving ? So much for the dollar or yen investments in Space exploration, I guess Martian colonies and lunar sites will be exchanging stuff in Euros after all.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:48 pm
Ariane M again
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums ... 6&posts=23


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Post    Posted on: Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:50 pm
From the web:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums ... 1&posts=40

Nice quote from there:

There's a pdf from 2004 that discusses lunar exploration with current and slightly enhanced Ariane 5 variants:

http://www.astron.nl/p/news/LO/Iranzo_A ... rkshop.ppt

The currently flying Ariane 5 ECA can only put 2.2 tonnes of payload on the moon's surface (this number doesn't include the descent stage mass). Ariane 5 ECB could put over 3 t with direct lunar transfer injection (no stop in LEO) but the upper stage Vinci engine is currently on hold. (It's an expander engine, like RL-10 but more thrust and slightly better ISP, compared to the current ECA HM7B gas-generator engine.) They assume storable propellant stages for lunar orbit insertion and descent.

The rockets are currently designed for GTO launch, and can put only 20 to 23 t in LEO. They discuss some enhancements, like increasing Vinci thrust, composite casing for the solid boosters and making a Vulcain III main engine with 13s better ISP. This would make the LEO payload 27 t, but there'd be dynamic pressure issues.

Then there's a brief mention of a 1991 study "Ariane Super Lourd", with 4 solids, 5 Vulcain II main engines, one Vulcain II second stage and 35 t lunar transfer orbit mass. It tapers up like a Saturn V.

I don't dare copy-paste any pictures from it...

I personally don't endorse building rockets from ground up for just some lunar missions that are performed less than ten times
.

More from the web:
http://www.newmars.com/forums/viewtopic ... sc&start=0

You've all forgotten another launcher they are looking at its called Ariane-2010 or Ariane-BeyondPluto, it would be 30,000 kg plus to LEO.
Europe has its eyes on the outer-planets but after NASA started considering cuts to Voyager and CRAF the ESA started look at using Ariane to launch its own missions such as Rosetta and 'Beyond Pluto'.


http://www2.dlr.de/lido/EN-RA/2000/1803582000.html
Ariane 2010 and RLV 2020
http://www.esa.int/gsp/ACT/doc/paperAAS03_210Pluto.pdf
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/arie2010.htm
Ariane-TwentyTen ( Vulcan 3 and the Vinci 200 ) would lift some of the largest payloads into orbit its GTO is about 16,000 kg and LEO might be about 29,000kg or 38,000 kg to LEO depending how much they want out of it.
Ariane-2010 might be used for the IHP or Interstellar Heliopause Probe.

IHP info
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object ... ctid=36022
The main focus is on heliospheric physics in the outer heliosphere and local interstellar medium. This requires that the IHP travel a distance of 200 AU from the Sun. This challenging mission profile will require a set of enabling technologies that are not only of benefit for this type of mission, but also for outer planetary missions
.[/quote]

The first users' manual for Soyuz launcher missions from French Guiana is now available
http://www.arianespace.com/site/documen ... index.html
http://www.arianespace.com/site/documen ... al_CSG.pdf

Information on operations of the workhorse Russian launcher from Europe's Spaceport.


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