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  ESA - JAXA - China - International
  [Discuss] ESA's Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] ESA's Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 31836
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-11-2015 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Please use this topic to discuss the suborbital flight of ESA's Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) to test advanced technologies and systems for future European reentry systems.

Philip
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Posts: 5114
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 02-11-2015 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, the "intermediate" part of the name says it all I guess, obviously a miniature spaceplane (about 5m long) used as a re-entry testbed for future applications...

Any chance ESA and NASA are still thinking to use such a "shuttle" as Crew Return Vehicle (remember X-38) for the International Space Station?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31836
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-11-2015 08:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, the Soyuz and soon CST-100 and Dragon are the only crew return vehicles in use or planned for the space station.

Rather, ESA says there are several potential IXV follow-on mission scenarios.

In parallel, ESA is already studying PRIDE, an initiative aimed at defining a prototype for an operational reentry vehicle that would serve as an orbital platform to test in orbit technologies for multiple applications not only for future European Space Transportation, such as future reusable launchers stages, but also for Earth Observation, Robotic Exploration, Microgravity Experimentation, and Clean Space needs.

PRIDE (Programme for Reusable In-orbit Demonstrator for Europe) was approved at the last ESA Ministerial Council in Naples, Italy.

PRIDE spaceplane will be similar to but smaller and cheaper than the US's X-37B but, unlike the X-37B, would be managed under civil auspices. It would be launched by Europe's Vega light rocket, orbit robotically, operate in orbit, and land automatically on ground in a runway.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31836
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-11-2015 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Of possible interest, per ESA, there are a number of mementos onboard the IXV:
  • 30 ESA coins
  • 50 mission patches (see above)
  • 5 Omega (Skywalker X-33) watches

JBoe
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Posts: 564
From: Churchton, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 02-11-2015 08:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, any idea on what ESA medallions were sent up?

Are there any similarities to the IXV to the Hermes and what if any technology was leveraged from Hermes to the IXV?

Lou Chinal
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Posts: 1148
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 02-11-2015 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On the French news today (tv5monde) it showed the IXV landing in water via a parachute.

OV3Discovery
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Posts: 19
From: Perth, WA, Aus
Registered: Mar 2015

posted 03-15-2015 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV3Discovery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
CST-100 and Dragon are the only crew return vehicles in use or planned for the space station.
I think Dream Chaser is another option for the crew transportation between ISS, and isn't Orion only for deep space missions?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31836
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-15-2015 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dream Chaser is no longer being considered for crewed missions to the space station. This week Sierra Nevada will be unveiling its proposal for Dream Chaser to be an unmanned cargo supply vehicle.

And yes, Orion is not being considered for space station missions.

OV3Discovery
Member

Posts: 19
From: Perth, WA, Aus
Registered: Mar 2015

posted 03-15-2015 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV3Discovery     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cost must have been a factor in relation to why Dream Chaser was ruled out.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 31836
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-15-2015 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cost was one of the considerations, but NASA ranked the Dream Chaser to be the least mature of the designs and it had the longest schedule for completing certification. (We have a topic about NASA's decision to pass on Dream Chaser.)

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