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Wat about keeping an ATV in orbit?

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:15 pm
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Wat about keeping an ATV in orbit? 
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Post Wat about keeping an ATV in orbit?   Posted on: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:15 pm
According to an article under www.welt.de the ATV is the first western vehicle that fueled another vehicle - the ISS in tis case.

So waht about the idea of keeping an ATV in orbit in the case there were a fuel station in orbit to refuel satellites, the ISS and other vehicles perhaps?

Since the ATV can refuel the ISS it also should be capable to do that regarding other vehicles - may that an adapter is required but this should be solvable. It also should be possible to refuel the ATV itself at the fuel station.

What do you think?



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


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:26 pm
This sounds good in theory. In practice you're going to run into a lot of hurdles before you get any benefit of it.

For one, your target sat has to be designed with a compatible fuel drogue and docking mechanism and it also has to be designed to use the propellant that's going to be delivered. For instance, a sat that used alcohol/peroxide would have no use for a tanker that only had MMH/N2O4. The ATV/ISS transfer itself is one example of this. ATV's own thrusters use MMH/N2O4, yet the propellant delivered was UDMH/N2O4 which is what the (russian) thrusters on ISS use.

With the current state of affairs using an ATV not to deliver fuel to sats but as an orbital tug makes more sense. This would require only something on the sat to grab onto and something on the tug to grab with.

ErikM


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Post Re: Wat about keeping an ATV in orbit?   Posted on: Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:09 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
According to an article under www.welt.de the ATV is the first western vehicle that fueled another vehicle - the ISS in tis case.

So waht about the idea of keeping an ATV in orbit in the case there were a fuel station in orbit to refuel satellites, the ISS and other vehicles perhaps?

Since the ATV can refuel the ISS it also should be capable to do that regarding other vehicles - may that an adapter is required but this should be solvable. It also should be possible to refuel the ATV itself at the fuel station.

What do you think?



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


They're wrong. Orbital Express did this 2 years ago. It also transferred batteries and computer modules.


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