News on Euro-Russian CSTS

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ckikilwai

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The latest publication about the counterpart of the Orion:<br />http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz_acts_history.html#concept<br />In short, still a lot needs to be decided, 3 or 4 cosmonauts, who is going to build the propulsion system, and most importantly the launcher(normal soyuz launcher, upraded soyuz launcher or maybe ariane 5)<br /><br />These choices must to be made before mid 2007.<br />After further developments, the concept will be proposed to ministers of the ESA countries in june 2008, and if approved the spacecraft will be further developed and will go into production.<br /><br />And although many on the internet don't believe this will never ever happen, I remain incredibly optimistic and hope we europeans will beat the americans with the first manned flight to the moon since apollo 17 <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
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gunsandrockets

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"The latest publication about the counterpart of the Orion: "<br /><br />Thanx for the news tip!
 
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tohaki

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Fingers crossed... <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" />
 
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dreada5

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Thanks for that! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />It seems like the best way forward. <br /><br />Russia has perfected their booster, reentry and propulsion technology such that its very reliable and ESA has the experience for constructing quality hab/lab modules (given... Columbus's quality is yet to be verified on ISS). <br /><br />I agree that its probably not the most effective use of time to man-rate Ariane 5, as a Soyuz-variant will no doubt be most reliable at getting cosmonauts/euronauts <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> to space and back again efficiently and safely. Ariane 5 (if used) could still come in handy for lofting heavy ATV-sized hab modules into LEO.<br /><br />Together it could be a great partnership if it goes ahead in 08. <br /><br />Look forward to seeing a draft schedule for full-scale development up to first flight.
 
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dreada5

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On another note. I noticed the following image, but I was expecting the hab module to be much larger. I was thinking that something that size of ATV or even Columbus (perhaps left at LEO/ISS after mission?) would be given consideration, especially if Russia/ESA would also like to use ACTS for interplanetary NEO missions.
 
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ckikilwai

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>On another note. I noticed the following image, but I was expecting the hab module to be much larger. I was thinking that something that size of ATV or even Columbus would be given consideration, especially if Russia/ESA would also like to use ACTS for interplanetary NEO missions.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />I've read that for lunar mission an extra habitat module could be launched and attached to give it more comfort for a space tourist or so.<br />
 
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holmec

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Well, that's the part of the beauty of Soyuz style craft. You could make different hab modules as long as your launcher can handle the weight. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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Very nice.<br />At least they have a lot of options to choose from. <br /><br />A few good points is that:<br />-Its a total Soyuz enhancement<br />-Europe does the hab module<br />-Wanting to use Soyuz launchers<br />-Rated for Lunar orbit and beyond?<br />-Europe and Russian cooperation.<br /> <br />Bad points:<br />-3 to 4 people? Seems small.<br />- <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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dreada5

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But ultimately depends how you look at it. If its for commuting people to ISS then yes more people the better. If its for whizzing around cislunar space or enroute to NEOs then I'd rather have two others onboard than another three/four... more space to stretch out, smaller hab module required or more lab/science or extravehicular equipment available... more capability! <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
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alpha_centauri

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That picture needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, exactly what's planned to be done and even who would do what isn't even set in stone yet, let alone a proper design.<br /><br />The crew size is limited by the fact that the soyuz reentry capsule's design is most probably going to be re-used as there is not enough money and time to waste testing a new design.
 
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ckikilwai

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ofcourse, they can go bigger, but you have to keep in mind that the more expensive the bigger the change the CSTS wont be approved.<br />And the Orion has the same capacity for lunar missions, so it isn't that small.
 
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holmec

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Had a weird thought.<br /><br />What if they incorporated two 3 man return capsules in a ship?<br />That's one hab then two capulses side by side and one service module. (can I have that to go please)<br /><br /><br />Then you might have a six man ship without the excess testing needed for a six man return capsule. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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themanwithoutapast

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First, I want to note that I am very interested in the CSTS study, it seems to be something ESA memberstates might really want to do, if there is a good proposal on the table in 2008.<br /><br />The problems I see are as follows:<br /><br />1. According to this new information, ESA also wants to develop the new propulsion module. This makes sense from ESA's viewpoint, because the habitation module alone is not enough to be considered an equal partner. The problem I see is from the Russian side. If the CSTS-spacecraft really will replace the Soyuz at some point, Russia will be dependent on Europe for parts of its spacecraft and vice versa ESA. Politicians might view that as problematic.<br /><br />2. Ok, let's take Mario Valls by his own words and presume this is not merely a Soyuz upgrade, but a re-design. Let's further presume they will go for a crew of four. That means that spacecraft has to be more massive than the Soyuz-TMA and not even a Soyuz 2-1b will be able to lift it to orbit. Is it already certain that the Soyuz 2-3 is going to be developed? As far as I know until now there was a lot of talk, but there haven't been any approved concepts, not even mentioning appropriate funds allocated to that launcher development. Ariane 5 or Proton are out of the question of being used, because the CSTS will primarily just replace the Soyuz TMA for missions to the ISS. To use Ariane 5 would just be a waste of money for that kind of missions.<br /><br />3. How do lunar missions really fit into that concept? While I have no doubt that a circumlunar flight can be done (it can actually even be done with a Soyuz spacecraft) with 2 flights, I am very sceptical about anything that goes beyond that. <br />A mission to lunar orbit would be fairly complicated, if the CSTS-concept wants to use current rockets. I doubt that it can be done even with 3 launches (2 Protons or Ariane 5s and one Soyuz 2-3). And while doing a moon mission with 2 launches stacked together in Earth orbit is complica
 
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ckikilwai

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I can't comment your first point, politics are always unpredictable, but at the moment Russians and Europeans can work together well for commercial flights (Starsem) and Europeans bought seats from the soyuz without large problems.<br /><br />For number 2, a soyuz 2-3 could also be used for commercial launches for starsem, so it can get funded in the future.<br /><br />About number 3, all options are still open, so that's positive, but you're right about the politics, ESA wouldn't get much political support today for lunar landings.<br />But things can change after 10 years, when the American Lunar program would be having its first missions, and are really designing a lunar base, there could be a better climate for such decisions.
 
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dreada5

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Agreed. ESA seem keen to want to have a equal partner role... even if the russians are more experienced with propulsion for TLI etc.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>3. How do lunar missions really fit into that concept? While I have no doubt that a circumlunar flight can be done (it can actually even be done with a Soyuz spacecraft) with 2 flights, I am very sceptical about anything that goes beyond that. <br />A mission to lunar orbit would be fairly complicated, if the CSTS-concept wants to use current rockets. I doubt that it can be done even with 3 launches (2 Protons or Ariane 5s and one Soyuz 2-3). And while doing a moon mission with 2 launches stacked together in Earth orbit is complicated, doing it with 3 launches is doubling or even trippling the problems. Each module/spacecraft needs to have either passive or active controls and a docking system. In addition propulsion stages will either need a system to prevent boiloff or use lower-ISP fuel which would prevent any 3 launch scenario for a moon orbiting mission. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />I'm confused. Are you saying it can or cannot be done with just 2 launches?<br /><br />I think if RSA/ESA commit now they can manage circumlunar flights by 2020.<br /><br />They may need a serious heavy lift rocket (eg Energia) for anything more such as landings, but I definitely don't think RSA/ESA will find it impossible to get to lunar space circa 10 years.
 
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PistolPete

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I think what he is trying to say is that while it is possible to perform an Apollo 8 or Zond style circumlunar mission with current technology using only two launches on unmodified LVs, it is not possible to achieve a lunar landing or even a lunar orbital mission using just one or two launches without developing new LVs and/or new spacecraft. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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PistolPete

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I just went on Russianspaceweb.com and Anatoly Zak just uploaded a new image of another artists rendering of what a possible RKA/ESA spacecraft might look like. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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radarredux

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I didn't see any discussion on what they would do at the Moon. Is it just a fly-around once and return to Earth?<br /><br />It seems that without a lander in the pipeline, whipping around the Moon doesn't make much sense?<br /><br />Also, is Kilper dead?
 
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themanwithoutapast

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I think what he is trying to say is that while it is possible to perform an Apollo 8 or Zond style circumlunar mission with current technology using only two launches on unmodified LVs, it is not possible to achieve a lunar landing or even a lunar orbital mission using just one or two launches without developing new LVs and/or new spacecraft. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Correct, I guess point 3 of my post was not that clear. Circumlunar flights do not serve any purpose for themselves. An orbital lunar flight could actually serve a scientific purpose and is a prerequisite for a landing. So, even if we forget about the development of a lunar lander for a moment, the question is, is an orbital lunar flight possible with this CSTS concept and NO development of a super-heavy launcher? A three launch Earth orbit rendezvous scenario is fairly complicated, not even mentioning the costs for two heavy launchers (Proton, Ariane 5) and a Soyuz-2-3. And with current technology three launches might not even suffice for an orbital lunar mission, if the CSTS spacecraft is actually larger and more massive than a Soyuz.<br /><br />Without a more capable heavy launch vehicle the CSTS concept will not work. It will merely be a Soyuz replacement for the ISS, which begs the question why anyone should fund its development.<br /><br />And I just do not see ESA or RSA developing a super-heavy launcher. It doesn't even have to be an Ares V or Saturn V class launcher, for instance a simple Ariane 5 upgrade might do the trick. EADS has for instance studied a four-solids Ariane 5 as a modification of Ariane 5 ECB. Performancewise, this vehicle would be able to lift 17.5t to GTO or 16t to GTO for a dual sat launch. With this vehicle a two-launch lunar rendezvous mission (that is 1. you launch a lunar lander directly into a lunar transfer trajectory and 2. you launch the CSTS-spacecraft into directly into a lunar transfer trajectory and 3.
 
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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>A three launch Earth orbit rendezvous scenario is fairly complicated, not even mentioning the costs for two heavy launchers (Proton, Ariane 5) and a Soyuz-2-3. And with current technology three launches might not even suffice for an orbital lunar mission, if the CSTS spacecraft is actually larger and more massive than a Soyuz.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Three launches is definitely enough to get to lunar orbit, and to lunar surface<br />http://www.lunartransportationsystems.com/architecture_missionprofile2.aspx<br />
 
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themanwithoutapast

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>hree launches is definitely enough to get to lunar orbit, and to lunar surface <br />http://www.lunartransportationsystems.com/architecture_missionprofile2.aspx <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />You can get to lunar surface even with one launch, just not with a crewed spacecraft...<br /><br />Ok, let's calculate the whole thing through with a 3 launch scenario using one Proton, one Ariane 5 ES and a Soyuz 2-3 for the crewed spacecraft. That would roughly be 20t for each Proton and Ariane 5 ES and 10t for Soyuz 2-3 in LEO. Let's disregard any propellant use for LEO rendezvous.<br /><br />Let's be very generous in how much propellant each propulsion stage will hold vs. required structure, docking systems, boiloff-protection and even assume the two 20t propulsion stages will use LH/LOX.<br /><br />Realistically, we may assume that each propulsion stage would burn 17t of LH/LOX with a dry weight of 3t for structure. Assuming an Isp of 450sec the first propulsion stage will propel our stack 1800 m/s - not enough for a lunar transfer tranjectory. Our second propulsion stage will have to do the rest of the EDS burn and the moon orbit insertion burn. If we assume for a moment this second propulsion stage can be a restartable LH/LOX stage also with a dry weight of 3t, then that would get our spacecraft into lunar orbit, even with some protective margin. <br /><br />However, from then onwards the CSTS would need to do all subsequent burns by itself including the Earth transfer trajectory burn and all course corrections (or possible lunar dockings with a lunar lander). Orion will need 1700 m/s of delta-v performance for that job. Let's reduce this for our purposes to 1500 m/s (we just want to get to the moon and back and do not need to do many plane changes). LH/LOX is out of the question for the CSTS-spacecraft propulsion system
 
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dreada5

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themanwithoutapast, I think you raise some good points.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p> With this vehicle a two-launch lunar rendezvous mission (that is 1. you launch a lunar lander directly into a lunar transfer trajectory and 2. you launch the CSTS-spacecraft into directly into a lunar transfer trajectory and 3. you rendezvous both in lunar orbit) might be possible. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Why would you send critical crew hardware to Lunar orbit before checking it out in LEO? <br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>BUT, such an upgraded Ariane 5 might not be useful in the commercial market because comsats aren't 8 or 9t heavy and will very likely not be that heavy in the future and I doubt the development costs and increased launch costs for a triple launch scenario are worth it. Secondly, to adapt the launch environment on such an Ariane 5 upgrade for a crewed launch is costly. So in effect ESA would have to fund a vehicle modification that will cost certainly over 1 billion EUR, which probably will not be of commercial use, just for enabling lunar missions. And that is something ESA will never do, because human spaceflight has always been an add-on (15% of what they do) to their regular program and it is currently not planned to change that. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />How will this be different from NASA developing Ares 5?<br /><br />Also there has been talk of Ares 5 being useful in future for launching Cassini/Galileo-class spacecraft. Surely, an upgraded Ariane 5 will be good for similar missions if ESA ever decide to go it alone on exploring eg Uranus, Neptune, Pluto etc.<br /><br />But you make a good point, if ESA is determined to see CSTS through and develop a full european capability, then they'll either have to find a billion EUR or get the Russians to fund/build the heavy lift launcher. Alternatively if they aren't serious, then they'll end up developing a half-baked CSTS capability w
 
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themanwithoutapast

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>which may be only allows them to launch ESA astronauts to ISS or lunar orbit.... and then wait for NASA to give them a ride down to the surface <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Actually, without a new larger heavy launch vehicle (or an upgraded Ariane 5) CSTS will solely be a LEO vehicle. Lunar orbit is, as my above post outlines, not practically feasible with this proposal.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Why would you send critical crew hardware to Lunar orbit before checking it out in LEO? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Because a direct lunar transfer trajectory insertion solves some problems when compared to LEO assembly with an upgraded Ariane 5:<br /><br /> Ariane 5 ECA or this upgraded Ariane 5 with four solids EADS has studied primarily look at enhancing GTO performance. What however would be done (I failed to mention this) is the same thing as Apollo did. You just stop your Ariane 5 upper stage when you reach LEO, check your systems an hour or so and then restart. The Ariane 5 ECB upper stage would be restartable and could therefore do that.<br /><br />Besides you have some mass savings if you launch your lunar lander separately on a low-thrust trajectory which saves you about 300 m/s, but requires about 90 days to get from GTO-injection to the moon's orbit.<br /><br />
 
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