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Il futuro del programma spaziale USA

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ricordo una intervista,andata in onda sulla rai 7-8 anni fa con scienziato-ingegnere italiano,che aveva progettato un certo motore ad idrogeno(almeno credo), per l'utilizzo su navicella spaziale, ovviamente con tutti benefici del progetto.

Diceva che però era stato "boicottato" vistosamente nello sviluppo, proprio per il fatto che era troppo innovativo.

Avete mai sentito qualcosa del genere?

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la NASA mi sembra senza una direzione.

probabilmente perchè i soldi a pioggia, in questo periodo non si trovano.

E' un peccato, perchè senza un ipotetico mezzo già sviluppato, le missioni su marte le vedremo non prima del 2040.

L'interesse sicurmante è passato per lo spazio, ma la tecnologia si sviluppa anche grazie a tutti gli studi effettuati dalla nasa.

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Volo umano .... cosa bolle in pentola?


La NASA ha assegnato alcuni nuovi contratti nell'ambito del suo programma "Commercial Crew Development effort (CCDev-2)" ....


Fonte: Aviation Week & Space Technology


Five Vehicles Vie To Succeed Space Shuttle


Apr 22, 2011


By Frank Morring, Jr. (Washington)



U.S. spacecraft engineers with federal funding will pursue at least five different ways to replace the space shuttle in the next few years, from capsules that harken back to the 1960s to a spaceplane and a vertical-takeoff-and-landing craft that flies to orbit on a reusable booster.


Breakup of the year-long political logjam over funding for NASA this month cleared the way for the agency to announce the next phase of its Commercial Crew Development effort (CCDev-2) and gave Lockheed Martin a clear path to shift its old Orion crew exploration vehicle prime contract over to the new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle effort ordained in the three-year NASA authorization bill President Barack Obama signed last year.


“We’re committed to safely transporting U.S. astronauts on American-made spacecraft and ending the outsourcing of this work to foreign governments,” states NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “These agreements are significant milestones in NASA’s plans to take advantage of American ingenuity to get to low Earth orbit, so we can concentrate our resources on deep space exploration.”


Bolden’s statement refers to the CCDev-2 awards, which went to Blue Origin, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Inc. (SpaceX).


Lockheed Martin began work on Orion in 2006, when it beat out a Northrop Grumman/Boeing team for the prime contract (AW&ST Sept. 4, 2006, p. 22).


Procurement documents released with the CCDev-2 announcement give a first look at the work that has been underway at Blue Origin, a secretive start-up company based in Kent, Wash., that operates a remote test site in West Texas. The company plans to develop a reusable launch vehicle to carry its biconic seven-seat capsule to low Earth orbit, following an interim stage when it will offer suborbital tourist and scientific flights in a three-seat version.



BLUE ORIGIN - Secretive company’s “Space Vehicle” is a biconic capsule that would launch on an Atlas V at first. But a reusable launch vehicle is in the long-term plan.


Blue Origin received $22.005 million in CCDev-2 funding, exactly the amount it requested to hasten its development work, according to the procurement documents. Although it was the smallest award of the four granted, the agency apparently made it in the hope that the deep pockets of Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos, who also founded Amazon.com, may open up an alternative to the approaches under development by Boeing, Sierra Nevada and SpaceX.


In its CCDev-2 proposal, Blue Origin says it will mature its seven-seat “Space Vehicle” through system requirements review, ground- and flight-test the pusher escape system it started under CCDev-1, and begin testing the 100,000-lb.-thrust liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engine for its “Reusable Booster System” (RBS).


“Each one-time use of current expendable booster technology represents a prime opportunity for cost reduction,” the company states. “Blue Origin’s RBS employs deep-throttling, restartable engines to perform vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing [VTVL] maneuvers for booster recovery and reuse.”


The company plans to launch its Space Vehicle initially on a human-rated Atlas V and transition later to the reusable booster. The vehicle apparently will use VTVL technology tested on an unpiloted vehicle dubbed New Shepard, which traces its heritage to the Air Force and NASA DC-X and -XA testbeds flown in the 1990s. It will return to Earth on dry land “to minimize the costs of recovery and reuse.”


According to its proposal, Blue Origin is conducting integrated testing of a “suborbital booster” that will carry a three-seat “suborbital capsule”—now in final assembly—to the edge of space.


“The suborbital vehicle will be fully reusable and capable of flying three or more astronauts to an altitude of over 328,000 ft. (above 100 km) for science research and adventure,” the Blue Origin proposal states.


Blue Origin plans to use its CCDev-2 funds to accelerate its work toward a full-up end-to-end space transportation system, including advancing the design of the Space Vehicle by completing “key system trades,” designing the thermal protection system in partnership with NASA’s Ames Research Center, defining the capsule’s biconic shape, and conducting the reviews necessary to generate “a baseline definition architecture and system requirements.”


In addition to Ames, Blue Origin has partnered with NASA’s Stennis Space Center to test engine thrust chambers; United Launch Alliance to integrate the Space Vehicle on the Atlas V; Aerojet for solid rocket motors and test facilities; Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control High Speed Wind Tunnel in Grand Prairie, Texas, for Space Vehicle testing; and the Air Force High Speed Test Track near Alamogordo, N.M., to test the pusher escape system.


More is known about the other three CCDev-2 winners. Boeing has a pressure test article for its CST-100 capsule, which was on display at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in mid-April. Machined from two pieces of aluminum for strength, the article is a pathfinder for a second version that will be built of lighter-weight 7075 aluminum alloy under the CCDev-2 phase.



CST-100 - Boeing displayed this aluminum pressure-test article at the National Space Symposium, between a mockup of the capsule (right) and a low-fidelity Orion (left) used for sensor testing.


Boeing received $92.3 million in CCDev-2 funding, the largest among the four recipients. Other tasks that will be carried out with the funding include evaluation of a lighter-weight engine for its pusher-type launch abort system, evaluation of the parachute and airbag-inflation systems for water landings, and full-scale tests of the pyrotechnics that will separate the CST-100 capsule from the service module prior to reentry.


The service module uses batteries instead of solar arrays for power, so the Boeing vehicle’s nominal flight profile calls for docking at the International Space Station (ISS) on the day of launch. However, it will have enough battery life to accomplish a second-day docking, if necessary. After that, it is designed to remain at the station for as long as seven months in a lifeboat role, drawing power from the ISS grid.


The company is still in the process of selecting a launch vehicle for its test flights and early missions and is designing the CST-100 to be able to handle loads on several candidate launchers.


“We’ve got four test flights scheduled,” says John Elbon, Boeing’s commercial crew development program manager at Boeing. “There’s a pad abort test in ’13, and in ’14 we have three tests that require launch vehicles: an uncrewed orbital flight test, so we’d fly in an automated way and spend a couple of days in orbit testing out the systems; an ascent abort test which would exercise the abort system at maximum dynamic pressure—Max-Q—and then finally a crewed flight test where we put a couple of test pilots in there and launch it, and then we’d be ready for operations.”


Sierra Nevada, like Boeing, was one of the big winners in the $50 million CCDev-1 competition, drawing $20 million to begin work on its Dream Chaser spaceplane, which would be launched on an Atlas V. It is essentially a composite version of NASA’s HL-20 lifting body that in turn was derived from the Russian BOR-4 test vehicle which flew in orbit four times, according to the Sierra Nevada CCDev-2 proposal.



DREAM CHASER - Sierra Nevada Corp.’s composite lifting body could fly atop an Atlas V in 2015, if funding continues at current levels. Atmospheric drop tests are planned next year.


Power is provided by the same hybrid propulsion technology used on the Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplanes, with a runway landing under the control of a pilot or autopilot. The company plans to use its $80 million in CCDev-2 funding to reach preliminary design review for the orbital vehicle and atmospheric drop tests of the engineering test article that has undergone structural testing.


Last year, SpaceX tested its Dragon capsule to orbit and recovery at sea in the cargo configuration it developed under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) effort (AW&ST Dec. 13, 2010, p. 22). With its $75 million CCDev-2 award, the company plans to speed development of its side-mounted pusher-type launch abort system, including static testing, and prepare its initial design for crew accommodation in the Dragon for NASA astronauts to evaluate.



DRAGON - SpaceX already has flown a prototype cargo version of its Dragon crew vehicle to orbit and back, and will add an escape system and seats under CCDev-2.


Phil McAlister, acting director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA headquarters and the selecting authority for CCDev-2, says the goal of the CCDev effort is to seed a commercial industry that can fly crews to the ISS by “approximately the mid part of this decade.” The second round is designed to mature designs that have a chance of growing into a full-scale system, which will be addressed in a third round of awards to be covered under an $850 million request for fiscal 2012.


For now, he says, the idea is to use the federal funds—plus the 10-20% the companies are required to post toward the development—to support “significant progress on maturing the design and development of elements of the system” or systems that ultimately will fly, with a conscious effort to back different approaches in a competitive approach.


“I would say at this stage of the game, competition is a very important part of our strategy,” says McAlister. “It incentivizes performance. It incentivizes cost effectiveness. We also believe that having skin in the game is also important.”


McAlister was executive director of the panel headed by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine that found the old Constellation program of human exploration vehicles “unsustainable.” But one of those Constellation spacecraft, the Orion crew exploration vehicle, will continue in development as the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) Congress ordered as a backup to the commercial crew vehicles for space station trips, and as a NASA-owned deep-space vehicle for exploration crews.


To simplify and save money in the tricky transition, Lockheed Martin has cut out an entire test article for the MPCV effort, doubling up test objectives for the remaining articles to try to keep the vehicle within the tight schedule set by Congress.


By combining trials with particular test articles, the company plans to send an Orion capsule into orbit on its first test flight in 2013, says Cleon Lacefield, the company’s program manager. The first capsule produced is now being prepared for ground tests at company facilities near Denver, and once those are over that test capsule will be reinstrumented to fly on the first ascent abort test in 2014. Using the same test article in two trials will enable the company to start work on the test capsule that will fly to space for the first time.


“With the funding changes, the program realignments . . . we’ve been able to preserve the core of this test program and . . . make it more than it would have been by combining a bunch of tests into single articles,” says Jim Kemp, director of assembly, test and launch operations for the new spacecraft.


During the debate over NASA’s future direction Lockheed Martin kept working on the Orion capsule using Constellation funding available under appropriations language that prohibited NASA from terminating the program. The initial test article was built at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where it underwent pressure testing before being sent here for a more rigorous workout.


New instrumentation is being installed to test how it will hold pressure with a lot of its internal systems installed, including an instrumented window to measure how the glass flexes under pressure. Acoustic testing will follow, using generic acoustic loads that should cover any of the potential launch vehicles NASA chooses for the vehicle’s flight-test program. Kemp points out that the Orion was designed to launch on the Ares I rocket, which was under development by Constellation before the program was terminated.


That launch vehicle used a five-segment space shuttle solid-fuel booster rocket as its first stage, which would have generated acoustic loading beyond that produced by the liquid-fueled candidates for a test-flight launch vehicle.


If all goes according to schedule, piloted operations of the Orion could begin as early as 2016, Lockheed Martin says.


“[Last year,] we redefined the program to focus on a couple of things,” Lacefield says. “One of them is the first vehicle development for the flight test. It’s an orbital flight test where we really try to wring out 11 of the top 13 risk items on the vehicle. One of those we look at is the thermal protection system, so we’re doing high-velocity reentry to prove out its capabilities early in the vehicle development cycle.”


Testing of some MPCV systems could begin as early as May 1, when the space shuttle Endeavour is tentatively scheduled to dock with the ISS for the last time before its retirement. Nestled in next to the orbiter’s docking system will be the Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation payload, which will gather data on how the Orion navigation sensors will perform in an approach to the station.


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non saprei bene come giudicare questo programma....lo spazio ha perso interesse (peccato :( ), e per rifornire la Iss, ci penserà per un pò la soyuz...

Una nuova "primavera" spaziale (come quella che ci fu per andare sulla luna tra Usa contro Urss), la vedremo (forse), fra qualche decina d'anni (non credo 1 o 2), ma tra Usa e Cina...

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Il dopo Shuttle ....


.... dure critiche .... e proposte ....


Fonte: Aviation Week & Space Technology


Space Station Offers Harsh Lesson


By Amy Svitak (Le Bourget - June 29, 2011)



Despite its status as a shining example of international cooperation, the International Space Station has a harsh lesson to teach the five-member global partnership that built it: Unilateral decision-making can lead to chaos.


Since NASA decided to end its aging cargo- and crew-carrying space shuttle program—a 2005 decision slated to take effect this summer—international partners contributing to the orbiting space complex, including NASA, have devised their own means of accessing the ISS. The result, according to European Space Agency (ESA) chief Jean-Jacques Dordain, is a crazy-quilt of smaller, less-capable cargo-hauling vehicles supplied by Europe, Japan, Russia and eventually the United States. Even worse, in the wake of the shuttle’s retirement, space station astronauts will have to rely solely on Russian Soyuz capsules to reach the orbiting outpost for the foreseeable future.


“The most important lesson we can draw from the ISS program is precisely the lack of a common transportation policy, which means today we are in a not very comfortable situation,” Dordain said June 20 at the Paris air show. While unilateral decisions to develop unique space transportation systems were justifiable, in hindsight, Dordain says, Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia and the U.S. could have done more to reach common ground.


“It was anarchy, let’s be clear about it,” he said.


In addition to Europe’s Ariane 5-launched Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Japan’s H-2 Transfer Vehicle and Russia’s Progress cargo hauler, NASA is backing development of privately built space freighters, including the Dragon capsule, built by Hawthorne, Calif.-based SpaceX, and the Cygnus cargo module, from Dulles, Va.-based Orbital Sciences Corp.


“Do we really need all of these?” Dordain asks. “This is a situation that results from a lack of consistency and consultation in the area of transportation.”


Looking forward, Dordain hopes space-faring nations can avoid making a similar mistake as they embark on plans to build new rockets and spacecraft capable of sending humans beyond low Earth orbit.


“My concern is that we should discuss and debate a common transportation policy with our partners,” he says. “We have to talk about common interfaces, what redundancies we need in the systems and once we have defined common needs, we’ll have to see who can do what on the basis of common interests being developed.”


Dordain says ESA has already initiated talks with U.S. partners for potential future collaboration in the area of manned spaceflight. Since May, he notes, ESA and NASA have been talking about a plan to build a joint U.S.-European spacecraft based on existing designs that could ferry astronauts to the space station and on missions to the Moon and beyond.


NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says Europe has much to offer the U.S. space agency, which expects to rely increasingly on international partners as looming federal deficits put downward pressure on federal discretionary spending. As NASA finalizes designs for a Multipurpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and a new heavy-lift rocket capable of sending humans beyond low Earth orbit, Bolden has encouraged U.S. companies to team with European firms.


“It is my hope that we’ll be able to have Europeans in the critical path somewhere in the exploration initiative,” Bolden told Aviation Week, shortly before he attended a meeting with Dordain. The ESA director general raised the potential for a joint manned exploration initiative to combine the service module of the EADS Astrium-built ATV with NASA’s crew-capable MPCV, a space capsule based on the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle in development by Lockheed Martin Space Systems for the past six years. “If you look at what ATV’s capability is, what has been demonstrated, you can see where that has potential for use as a service module, for example,” Bolden says. “There’s all kinds of opportunities that exist based on demonstrated capability from our European partners.”


Dordain, adding that Europe has no plans to develop its own manned spaceflight capability, says a joint U.S.-European program would afford ESA member states an opportunity to capitalize on their investment in the ATV while exploring ways to cover Europe’s share of common operations costs associated with the space station.


Currently ESA expects to have no money available for ATV modifications beyond what it pays NASA for Europe’s share of the station’s operating costs through 2020. That figure is estimated at about $100 million. Dordain says the two sides are shooting for a rough outline of the joint vehicle concept and its development costs by fall, allowing ample time for ESA member states to evaluate the proposal ahead of their budget-setting ministerial council at the end of 2012.


“We should converge towards the fall of this year toward possibly not even one single vehicle but at least toward one module that would make it possible to then have some derivatives in the future with one vehicle dedicated to the U.S., for instance, and one that Europeans could use in other circumstances,” he says.


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Sia "Flight International" che "Aviation Week & Space Technology" stanno affrontando il problema del "Dopo Shuttle" ....







Intanto si sta pensando di qualificare il vettore "Atlas V" per i voli umani ....





Mentre SpaceX ....



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"Soyuz has launched more than 1,700 times over its long career, according to Ascend's SpaceTrak, making it the most frequently-used booster system. Soyuz has suffered a total of 88 failures since its first launch in 1957, with only one occurring within the past 10 years."


E' curioso che, il primo lancio fallito di una Soyuz da dieci anni a questa parte, sia accaduto subito dopo il pensionamento degli Shuttle. Sembra un monito. :asd:

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Secondo me per la ricerca "di base" ,anche quella bologica o prettamente fisica l'esistenza della ISS-che è costata molti soldi- è più che utile,perchè permette di eseguire esperimenti altrimenti impossibili sulla Terra,non per altro per le condizioni di microgravità.In più ,adpttando criteriii economici, l'ammortamento di una spesa per costruire un manufatto dipende dal periodo di tempo in cui questo continua a funzionare:piùù tempo dura,meno viene a costare annualmente; quindi dismettere la ISS troppo presto sarebbe una grossa perdita economica o,per meglio dire, finanziaria. Compatibilmente con la sicurezza la ISS dovrebbe essere fatta operare fino a quando sarà possibile,non per altro per ammortare i costi di realizzazione.

Sui nuovi progetti, saranno anche validissimi,però sono progetti,che in america nel 2011 prima di diventare realtà per motivi che non so devono superare troppi ostacoli, forse sarebbe meglio concentrarsi su quello che esiste già

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sbaglierò, ma per me fino a quando non inventeranno nuove ticnologie rivoluzionarie,non ci sarà l'esplorazione verso marte ed il ritorno alla "corsa allo spazio".

siamo arrivati ad un punto di stallo, sia grazie alla crisi, ma anche per le tecnologie utilizzate.

Ricordiamoci che siamo andati sulla Luna ben 40 anni fa...

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sbaglierò, ma per me fino a quando non inventeranno nuove tecnologie rivoluzionarie,non ci sarà l'esplorazione verso marte ed il ritorno alla "corsa allo spazio".

siamo arrivati ad un punto di stallo, sia grazie alla crisi, ma anche per le tecnologie utilizzate.

Ricordiamoci che siamo andati sulla Luna ben 40 anni fa...


Altro che nuove tecnologie .... qui si parla di resurrezioni .... :hmm:


Industry group resurrects 6,000kN F-1 engine for NASA proposal 


By: Zach Rosenberg (Denver) - 3 hours ago


Source: qxui6q.jpg


Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and Dynetics have announced a resurrected F-1 engine as their entry into the advanced booster engineering demonstration and/or risk reduction (ABEDRR) programme, a precursor to selecting advanced boosters for the Space Launch System (SLS).


The liquid oxygen/kerosene-burning, gas-generator cycle engine produces more than 6,600kN (1.5 million lb) of thrust. Five such engines comprised the first stage of the Saturn V rocket, which launched the Apollo series of lunar exploration missions.


Development could cost half that of a clean-sheet booster design, says John Vilja, vice president of strategy at Rocketdyne. "Now that we have a design that has actually been proven, it's easier to just copy that."


Resurrection of the F-1, the most powerful engine built by a United States company (only the Russian RD-170 is slightly more powerful) has long been a topic of wistful discussion amongst rocketry circles.


"Every rocket designer that's ever come to us says, 'Boy, I wish we had an F-1,' because it solves a lot of problems," says John Vilja, vice president of strategy at Rocketdyne. "It's big thrust in a small space - relatively small."


The F-1 proposal will be submitted as a competitor to a NASA risk reduction contract. Selections, expected in October 2012, will be awarded to several companies. After further development and experimentation, NASA will down-select to a single booster for full-scale development.


Testing in the first phase will involve assembling a power pack, consisting of a complete gas generator and turbopump, for testing. Initially, testing may use leftover hardware from the F-1A programme, a 8,000kN-thrust variant of the engine that was built but never flown. The equipment is now around 40 years old.


"We have three of those that we're tearing apart right now, looking to see where we had galvanic corrosion, figuring out where we might have some things we want to change," says Vilja.


Rocketdyne believes a working powerpack can be assembled and tested by 2015, with additional parts under construction. If NASA selects the F-1 to become the SLS booster, The company believes it can assemble and test a full engine by 2017, and certify it for flight in 2020, in advance of SLS's planned 2021 flight.


The company took the same approach when it was tapped to build the SLS upper stage, the J-2X that is currently undergoing testing. The J-2X is an updated version of the J-2, which flew as the Saturn V's upper stage.


Competitors include Aerojet with the LOX/RP-1 AJ-1000, a significantly scaled-up version of its AJ-26 engine, and ATK's advanced solid rocket boosters.


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IN FOCUS: Future of EELVs hangs in the balance


the future of US military and strategic spaceflight is tied closely to two rockets: Lockheed Martin's Atlas V and Boeing's Delta IV - both evolved expendable launch vehicles (EELVs) marketed and flown by United Launch Alliance (ULA).


ULA - a 50-50 joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin to serve US government launch customers including the Department of Defense, NASA and the National Reconnaissance Office - has a virtual monopoly over large US government launches, which represent the largest market in the world.

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Appena rilasciata dalla NASA ....



Readying Orion for Flight ....


The NASA team at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans has completed the final weld on the first space-bound Orion capsule.

The Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) Orion will be shipped to the Kennedy Space Center for final assembly and checkout operations.

The EFT-1 flight will take Orion to an altitude of more than 3,600 miles, more than 15 times farther away from Earth than the International Space Station.

Orion will return home at a speed of 25,000 miles, almost 5,000 miles per hour faster than any human spacecraft.

It will mimic the return conditions that astronauts experience as they come home from voyages beyond low Earth orbit.

As Orion reenters the atmosphere, it will endure temperatures up to 4,000 degrees F., higher than any human spacecraft since astronauts returned from the moon.


Image Credit: NASA/Eric Bordelon


La missione .... come la si prevede ....





Edited by TT-1 Pinto

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Ed anche l'Europa potrebbe avere la sua parte ....


European Space Agency's ATV supply ship may be basis for Orion service module 


By: Dan Thisdell (London - 5 hours ago)


Source: qxui6q.jpg


The European Space Agency's ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) robotic resupply ship may live on beyond its last planned mission to the International Space Station in 2014 - by funnelling technology into a service module for the Orion manned capsule being developed for NASA astronauts or even a free-flying habitat.


ESA has contracted EADS's Astrium division to study both avenues for further uses of technology developed for the ATV. ATV is ESA's contribution to the "barter" system with NASA and its other ISS partners that keeps the station flying, and the agency sees further development of the vehicle's unique capabilities as possibly its best route to maintaining its end of this inter-agency bargain.


Concepts, including cost and schedule outlines, will be presented in November to the agency's key meeting of member state ministers, who will hammer out ESA's budget and priorities for the next few years. ATV-derived projects will be high on the agenda.


Michael Menking, head of orbital systems and space exploration at Astrium, says a service module for Orion will not be ready in 2014, when the four-person capsule, being developed by Lockheed Martin, is expected to make a maiden test flight.


But, he says, ATV's own service module - with propulsion systems for main thrust and in-orbit manoeuvres, along with avionics that include the craft's unique capability to dock with the ISS in fully automatic mode - is regarded as an ideal basis for an Orion service module.


ATV also features a pressurised cargo hold to deliver almost 7t of food, water, supplies, hardware and fuel to the space station, so it is not difficult to leap to the concept of using it as a starting point to develop spacecraft such as supply ships for orbital infrastructure assembly or servicing, debris clearance or even free-flying orbiting habitats.


Menking stresses that the objective is to develop the most versatile spacecraft possible, with the key question: "How far can we go?"


Since the retirement of NASA's Space Shuttle fleet last year, ATV has been the largest craft servicing the space station. Astrium's €13 million ($16.2 million) study contract also calls on it to examine technologies featured on ESA's 21t Columbus laboratory module, launched to the ISS in 2008




In this stunning photo, ATV Edoardo Amaldi approaches the ISS for docking on 28 March 2012.

It was taken by NASA astronaut Don Pettit on board the ISS, and shows the ATV thrusters firing under automated control as the vessel nears the Russian module where it docked.


Fonte dell'immagine: ESA

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Mentre la NASA affida a quattro compagnie lo studio per il potenziamento dei futuri "booster" pesanti destinati a riportare l'uomo ben oltre il pianeta ....







.... e si parla del possibile re-impiego dello storico motore "F-1" ....





.... si annuncia un ulteriore passaggio di proprietà della Rocketdyne, l'azienda che ha legato il suo nome alla storia della propulsione missilistica civile e militare degli Stati Uniti ....







Edited by TT-1 Pinto

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Space Launch System .... si procede ....


Space Launch System formally enters design phase ....


By: Zach Rosenberg (Washington DC 23 - minutes ago)


Source: qxui6q.jpg



The Space Launch System (SLS), the super-heavy lift launch vehicle designed to launch crewed missions beyond low Earth orbit (LEO), has passed a combination system definition review/system requirements review, allowing engineers to start finalizing the design.


The rocket, scheduled for first flight in 2017, has now been formally moved into the preliminary design phase. Given the extensive use of off-the-shelf components built for other spacecraft and previously-done design work, the preliminary design phase is not expected to take long, though NASA officials were unavailable to answer schedule questions.


The SLS will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever built, capable of lifting 130mt to LEO in its planned final form. The first flight, in 2017, will be an interim model using an upper stage adapted from the United Launch Alliance Delta IV, and solid rocket boosters from the Space Shuttle programme. The first flight of the complete version will be in 2021 or later.


The rocket is designed specifically to launch a crewed Lockheed Martin Orion capsule on missions outside LEO. While no missions beyond initial test flights have been confirmed, possible destinations include a return to the moon, or trips to Mars or a nearby asteroid.



Dalla NASA .... http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-256_SLS_SRR-SDR.html

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sicuramente l'accelerazione dei progetti verso Marte (vedere i vari rovers degli ultimi 10 anni) servono per riprendere contatto con l'ipotetica missione umana....


qualcuno ha novità sul mezzo che ha più possibilità di essere sviluppato?

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segnalo questo documento che è appena stato declassificato U.S. National Security and Economic Interests in Remote Sensing: The Evolution of Civil and Commercial Policy: è un riassunto della storia spaziale/satellitare civile e commerciale USA


This report is a component of a larger project begun in fiscal year 2008 by The Aerospace Corporation for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The project seeks to define the balance between the national security sector's needs and aspirations for satellite remote sensing and those of the economic and scientific communities. Aerospace's Center for Space Policy & Strategy contributed the civil and commercial analysis, presented here in two parts. The first part begins in the early days of the space age when NASA, NOAA, and other civilian agencies laid the groundwork for the science, technology, and eventual commercialization of remote sensing. The second part begins in 1992, a turning point for commercial remote sensing efforts. At that point, a major course correction in national policy began at the same time that technical advances and industry efforts started to show promise. By late 2008, considerable progress was evident in both commercial enterprise and NASA Earth science research, but difficult challenges remained for both endeavors.

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E' del mese scorso la notizia che l'ESA si prenderà carico del modulo di servizio della capsula americana Orion, destinata come si sa a voli BEO (Beyond Earth Orbit) verso la luna (nel 2017 si dovrebbe avere un collaudo in orbita translunare). E' una notizia importante, perché la collaborazione renderà possibile, si prevede, ad astronauti europei di partecipare alle missioni americane.

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Il futuro grande vettore SLS della NASA potrebbe risultare inadeguato alla bisogna qualora venisse realizzato con due soli boosters ....


Opinion: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” - NASA’s SLS should have four boosters ....


Our previous article outlined the fact that the later Block 1A and Block 2 versions of NASA’s SLS were probably too small for proper manned exploration (according to studies two SLS launch vehicles will be needed for a manned lunar mission).

We went onto suggest that a vehicle carrying about 200 metric ton to orbit (about 30% more than the Block 2 SLS) would be needed for both lunar and Mars expeditions.


Fonte .... http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2013/09/opinion-sls-were-gonna-need-a-bigger-boat-one-with-four-boosters/



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Russia, Ucraina, Crimea .... sanzioni USA e .... motori razzo RD-180 per il vettore Atlas V .... problemi in vista?




U.S. RD-180 Coproduction Would Cost $1 Billion ....


Recent tensions over Russia's move to annex Crimea have prompted some to question the reliability of U.S. access to the Russian-made RD-180 engine, which is used to power one of two rockets that loft national security payloads into orbit.

Russia is a source for these engines as well as other aerospace materials, such as titanium.

The U.S. government has placed targeted sanctions on 11 Russian and Ukranian officials—the most comprehensive of such measures since the end of the Cold War—as a response to Russia's bold move into Crimea.

But the dispute has thus far not affected the supply chain for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.


Fonte .... http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_03_24_2014_p28-673866.xml


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