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Europe's Phoenix: RLV Set for Friday Test Flight

Posted by: Voyager4D - Thu May 06, 2004 9:04 pm
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Europe's Phoenix: RLV Set for Friday Test Flight 
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Space Walker
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Post Europe's Phoenix: RLV Set for Friday Test Flight   Posted on: Thu May 06, 2004 9:04 pm
Cool, didn't know there was a RLV under development in EU..
Here are som links:
Europe's Phoenix: Craft Set for Friday Test Flight
PHOENIX final rehearsal goes well
EADS/DASA/Astrium - Phoenix/Hopper - ASTRA

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Post    Posted on: Thu May 06, 2004 9:06 pm
Thanx for telling me in msn messenger :)

Well it really shows up some xprize team similarities :)
Cheap acces to space, lower costs, etc etc

If it wasn't the government.. it could have been a team :)
It seems to be developed for payloads first, but the article also says:
"The Phoenix, along with the Ariane 5, represents Europe's hope for sending astronauts into space in the coming years."

I hope this concept will be a proven succes in years :) so private companies can buy it or make similar vehicles with the same technology :)

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Post    Posted on: Thu May 06, 2004 9:27 pm
Reusable orbital glider PHOENIX undergoes wind tunnel testing
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Phoenix will be flown to a height of some 3500 m by a helicopter and then dropped
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Source: www.space.eads.net


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 6:27 am
Btw,
I've been watching this for a while. I know this is a downer but the current plans for the PHOENIX and the eventual spaceplane, currently called HOPPER is for it to be UNMANNED :( , you can check the net if you want.

I was really hopping this would be a chance for Europe to get in on the action in space but it seems like Starchaser is Europe's only chance of manned flight any time soon.

why aren't there any other european X-Prize teams, except for ARCA of course? I would have expected at least the French to try with their country's record on launchers.


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 8:09 am
Yes, I would of thought the French would have a crack. You know how competitive they get if an English side are in it! Their history in building launchers really puts Britain to shame.

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Post    Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 12:52 pm
Nova wrote:
Btw,
I've been watching this for a while. I know this is a downer but the current plans for the PHOENIX and the eventual spaceplane, currently called HOPPER is for it to be UNMANNED :( , you can check the net if you want.

I was really hopping this would be a chance for Europe to get in on the action in space but it seems like Starchaser is Europe's only chance of manned flight any time soon.


It's true what you say, same as Ariane 5, but the first market is putting stuff into space, satelites etc.
But if all gows well, they will use the same hardware, Ariane 5, HOPPER, ... for manned space travel.

Ariane 5, is the perfect basis for making a rocket vehicle, for apolo style missions.
While the HOPPER is a perfect basis for future shuttle style missions. (Note, the pictures above from PHOENIX, is only 1/6 the size of HOPPER.)

ESA has promised to go to the moon, and I think they see Ariane 5 and HOPPER, just as development steps, while putting stuff into orbit is a perfect "first goal" to keep costs low.

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Post    Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 4:20 pm
Don't get me wrong, I think that this is a firm step in the right direction (even if it took a lot of time to get even here) but i'm not so sure whether ESA will get to independant manned spaceflight any time soon. With its closer integration with the EU I think we will see more things like GALILEO and less of the REAL exploration. That is of course unless we people in Europe start to tell these agencies that we actually want to explore and not just make money from satellites.

I wonder however what the mood would be at ESA if (and most likely it will be) an X-Prize team sends people into space before them, and what the consequences might be?

I'm not taking the p out of ESA, I actually quite like the agency (NASA's a bit too bullish for my liking) but I really think that at the moment it really has no true leadership. With leadership, and not to mention more money, ESA would be capable of great things. ESA has got a great plan for space exploration, AURORA, and it's far more detailed than that thing NASA passed off as humanities route to the stars (A.K.A. Bush re-election ploy) yet still i'm not convinced that even AURORA will produce results on schedule.

Anyway, It's because the national (and international) agencies aren't doing their job that we're here supporting private space travel!!! :)


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 4:56 pm
Interesting article about Hopper:
http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRheft/FRHeft04/FRH0401/FR0401f.htm

And by the way, i think ESA's first independent maned mission will be on a Soyuz derived vehicle. ESA will have the capability too launch Soyuz in 2006... Soyuz is mann rated, Ariane 5 is not...

And here is a picture of how Hopper should deploy its gargo...
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Post    Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 5:11 pm
>Yes, I would of thought the French would have a crack.
yes, i am little disappointed by the lack of french team.
anyhow i am surprised by the low number of european teams ...

>You know how competitive they get if an English side are in it!
lol :-)
I feel more stimulated by the prospect of reaching space however ;-)


regarding the european's ability to put men in space. I think it s only an lack of intention issue ... If politics was propitiou, i think that esa could easily put men into space in lesser than 6 months ...
more generally if mankind really wanted to colonize the space, we would been on the moon and on mars long time ago ...


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Post It's probably just me..   Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 9:49 pm
I never have liked the idea of a winged vehicle on top of a booster stack. Too much torque stressing, or else you need an almighty big payload shroud. You only need the wings on the way back down, so what is the point? Crossrange?

IMO, ESA had a much better plan for a vehicle with the ARD capsule design.


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Post Re: It's probably just me..   Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 10:00 pm
bad_astra wrote:
I never have liked the idea of a winged vehicle on top of a booster stack.

The Hopper is not going to be launched on top of a rocket.. It is the 1. stage on it's own..
Look at the last image i posted.

HOPPER will be launched horizontally on a skid sled running along a four kilometre track in Kourou, and carry a payload of up to 7.5 tonnes to an altitude of 130km. Equipped with an apogee engine, the satellite will then climb to its predefined orbit under its own power, while the transporter flies back on a ballistic trajectory to an airfield on an island in the Atlantic that is under European sovereignty. The shuttle will then be taken back to Kourou by ship.
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Post    Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 10:17 pm
Test Glide of European Shuttle Phoenix Delayed
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- The planned test glide of a European space shuttle prototype was postponed Friday while technicians analyzed data from a test flight earlier this week, a project spokeswoman said.
The data analysis was to have been completed by Thursday but took longer than expected, said Johanna Bergstroem-Roos, of the North European Aerospace Test Range in Kiruna, 770 miles north of the capital, Stockholm.


Uhh.. Just realized that Hopper will use a maglev to launch...
It says so in this nice german article:
http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/weltraum/0,1518,289408,00.html


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 07, 2004 11:59 pm
When I first heard that they planned to use this method for launch I was intrigued as it's not a conventional method, a real X-Prize type idea! I know that this idea is an old one (I think that V-1's were launched in a similar way) but i have not heard of it being used since then for any space application and certainly not using Maglev to speed it up as well. It will be interesting to see how they get on with it and whether any future companies will use it.

This whole project however does seem to be part of something bigger that is being planned at ESA as they are getting involved in quite a few reusable spacecraft projects. For example the VOLGA programme (I think that's what it's called) with the Russians on designing a new high power oxygen/methane reusable engine. This is just part of the Future Launcher Preparatory Programme that is meant to co-ordinate rlv tech r&d and as far as I know should start around mid-2004, that is it should!


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Post    Posted on: Sat May 08, 2004 10:31 am
It would be cool if other companies could launch their own vehicles from ESA's future maglev launch track. If they have the money to build it...

It is interesting to note, that Phoenix got its name because it, as the bird rose from the aches. It rose from the aches of and other concept space plane (Hermes), that was too be launched on top of Ariane 5. But it was too expensive for ESA.

Interesting... a german organisation ASTRA has aparently bean involved in X38 and now Phoenix/Hopper
ASTRA = Advanced Systems & Technologies for future RLV Application
http://www.aiaa.org/symposiums/Berge.pdf
They also mention a concept called LFBB - (ARIANE 5 with) Liquid Fly-Back Boosters..

Here are som more very nice high-res pictures of Phoenix:
http://www.ssc.se/esrange/pressreleases/pictures/phoenix04.shtml


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Post    Posted on: Sat May 08, 2004 3:29 pm
:D :D :D :D :D

Cool, it has now been droped from the helicopter, see pictures here:
http://www.ssc.se/esrange/pressreleases/pictures/phoenix04.shtml


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