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  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  ISS resupply: why so many different vehicles?

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Author Topic:   ISS resupply: why so many different vehicles?
ASCAN1984
Member

Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-02-2009 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why are there so many station resupply spacecraft (i.e. Progress, ATV, HTV)? With so many budget issues in all space programs why do we need so many?

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 12-02-2009 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Redundancy; you never want to be in a situation where only one system can perform a task.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1490
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 12-02-2009 09:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mmm... SPS engine on Apollo!

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-02-2009 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In addition to the important issue of redundancy, the vehicles also serve as a technology testbed for their individual space agencies.

Both ESA and JAXA have laid out plans (to a varying degree) of adapting their ATV and HTV respectively to become their first crewed spacecraft.

NASA is in the process of exploring the use of its commercial cargo spacecraft now under development for use as a commercial crew vehicle.

Even Roscosmos, at the urging of Energia, have talked about adapting Progress for other missions, including cargo supply to future lunar bases (as has ESA and JAXA with their vehicles).

Even with the ATV, HTV, Progress, Soyuz and shuttle now in service, upmass to the station is extremely limited. For example, Franklin Chang-Diaz's Ad Astra Rocket Company has an agreement with NASA to fly a demonstrator of its VASIMR plasma engine to the ISS, but has yet to be able to secure a spot on any of the vehicles manifested for launch.

dogcrew5369
Member

Posts: 547
From: Statesville, NC
Registered: Mar 2009

posted 12-04-2009 01:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dogcrew5369   Click Here to Email dogcrew5369     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We'll have plenty of redudancy for supplies but only one ship for crews after shuttle? Brilliant.

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