Author Topic: UK steps up, as ESA commit to ATV Service Module on NASA's Orion  (Read 203619 times)


Offline Star One

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I was really staggered by this news as I am so used to the UK taking no part in manned spaceflight that such a turn around rather took me aback, especially when we keep hearing at the moment about cost cutting under austerity.

Whether this investment will somehow increase the likelihood of a seat on Orion for a British astronaut at some point down the line I am less convinced.

Offline FinalFrontier

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http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/uk-steps-up-esa-commit-atv-service-module-orion/

Based on today, sorry about the UK angle, but that was a big deal today and......well I'm English ;D


Welcome to the BEO world Chris!

Finally, I am really glad to see Britain finally getting a serious involvement on one of these projects, and the Orion SM no less.
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Offline Chris Bergin

I was really staggered by this news as I am so used to the UK taking no part in manned spaceflight that such a turn around rather took me aback, especially when we keep hearing at the moment about cost cutting under austerity.

Totally agree with you there Star One. I think the level of increase as a bit of a shock too. Even the UKSA on twitter seemed a bit shocked! ;D

I'm personally not too fussed if this all results in Tim Peake riding on Orion. I kinda got used to "British" astros in space with the Shuttle guys, as much as it was strange to see them with US flags on their suits.

I hear ya FF! :)

Offline Jester

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Nice piece Chris :)

Offline SimonShuttle

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Amazing news. Who would have thought George Osborne would be behind this of all people.

Hope this helps Orion too, as NASA won't want to cancel something with international commitments, right? I see Chris sorta hinted at that without stating it in the article.

Offline Chris Bergin

Nice piece Chris :)

Thanks ;D Wanted to do a bit more, but day job's always getting in the way so had a small window. But had to get something out of this!

Offline woods170

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http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/uk-steps-up-esa-commit-atv-service-module-orion/

Based on today, sorry about the UK angle, but that was a big deal today and......well I'm English ;D

Chris, sorry to say, but you are a bit too enthusiastic in your article. In particular I point to this part of your article:
Quote
However, with ESA’s firm involvement, Orion finds itself in a similar position of the ISS in terms of funding considerations, with the international arrangements adding a level of protection.

The fact that ESA today gave a "GO" for this, does not mean that it is now cast in iron. Here's why:

Quote from: NTRS - Building Transatlantic Partnerships in Space Exploration The MPCV-SM Study
Both
Agencies agreed to extend the assessment phase of
the potential MPCV cooperation in order to achieve
technical and programmatic maturity as would be
necessary for the decision  to be taken to the ESA
Council at Ministerial level to be held in November
2012. Should ESA and NASA decide to pursue the
collaboration past Phase A/B-1, a dedicated
arrangement, pursuant to the IGA and NASA-ESA
MOU, would be concluded after approval by the
United States Government (through the C175
process and, as necessary, other mechanisms)
and
by the November 2012 ESA Ministerial Council
meeting. 
In November 2011, ESA and NASA commenced
with the MPCV-SM phase A / B1 activities
including conducting the System Requirements
Review SRR and System Definition Review SDR
milestones in 2012.

You can find the NTRS document here: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20120012885

As you can see now the idea needs to be approved by the United States government. Todays decision by ESA was just step 1 in a 2-step process. You might want to add that little detail to your article.

Other than that I must say you managed to write another one of your award-winning articles. Well done.
« Last Edit: 11/21/2012 07:53 PM by woods170 »

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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An interesting announcement and solidification, indeed. I know NASA and Gerst have hinted at this for close to a year now, but I do have to wonder exactly what comes next and whether this will actually happen as advertised. Don't read that statement as being pessimistic. This is a huge step forward for international cooperation in BEO launcher capability - a necessary step forward for the eventual global effort to send humans to NEOs and Mars - and a huge advancement for the UK! I'm just looking at current budget and Congressional battles here in the U.S. - the looming "fiscal cliff" for those of you watching our ridiculous, finger-point, "it's-the-other-side's-fault" political dog fight unfold - and wondering how that will eventually play out for Orion/ATV and SLS in general, regardless of the UK funding and ESA ATV service module announcements.

-Chris G.

Offline Rocket Science

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Epic, fantastic… (Chris’ superlatives)  ;D for ESA, great read too!  :)
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Offline Chris Bergin

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/uk-steps-up-esa-commit-atv-service-module-orion/

Based on today, sorry about the UK angle, but that was a big deal today and......well I'm English ;D

Chris, sorry to say, but you are a bit too enthusiastic in your article. In particular I point to this part of your article:
Quote
However, with ESA’s firm involvement, Orion finds itself in a similar position of the ISS in terms of funding considerations, with the international arrangements adding a level of protection.

The fact that ESA today gave a "GO" for this, does not mean that it is now cast in iron. Here's why:

Quote from: NTRS - Building Transatlantic Partnerships in Space Exploration The MPCV-SM Study
Both
Agencies agreed to extend the assessment phase of
the potential MPCV cooperation in order to achieve
technical and programmatic maturity as would be
necessary for the decision  to be taken to the ESA
Council at Ministerial level to be held in November
2012. Should ESA and NASA decide to pursue the
collaboration past Phase A/B-1, a dedicated
arrangement, pursuant to the IGA and NASA-ESA
MOU, would be concluded after approval by the
United States Government (through the C175
process and, as necessary, other mechanisms)
and
by the November 2012 ESA Ministerial Council
meeting. 
In November 2011, ESA and NASA commenced
with the MPCV-SM phase A / B1 activities
including conducting the System Requirements
Review SRR and System Definition Review SDR
milestones in 2012.

You can find the NTRS document here: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20120012885

As you can see now the idea needs to be approved by the United States government. Todays decision by ESA was just step 1 in a 2-step process. You might want to add that little detail to your article.

Other than that I must say you managed to write another one of your award-winning articles. Well done.

Good context, and appreciated.

Let me see if I can sew in a bit of that context into the article without getting too deep into it.

I've never won an award though. You are way too kind on that! ;D

EDIT: Ok, so I had the "European Space Agency (ESA) have announced they will inform NASA" in the abstract, but I've added a line at the end noting it's pending US Gov approval, so no one gets too carried away. It was written by an excited Chris, so that's why it's good to have a forum for feedback :)

Offline Rocket Science

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Anyone else remember the question about Orion on Ariane V a couple of years ago? Just throwing it out there… ;)

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2010/01/french.html
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline seawolfe

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Interesting terminology you used for Margaret Thatcher.... i.e. "butcher".  The U.S.'s space budget has been whacked or downsized but I don't believed "butchered" was ever used but it sure fits.  :)

Offline Terry Rocket

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Great news! Finally we're getting back into the swing of things. Results should encourage more.

Interesting terminology you used for Margaret Thatcher.... i.e. "butcher".  The U.S.'s space budget has been whacked or downsized but I don't believed "butchered" was ever used but it sure fits.  :)

Oh yeah. She was brutal. In some ways that made her great, but in others.......

Offline clongton

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Epic announcement. Nice article Chris
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Offline RocketmanUS

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/uk-steps-up-esa-commit-atv-service-module-orion/

Based on today, sorry about the UK angle, but that was a big deal today and......well I'm English ;D
You are English or is there some Irish in there?

Ya definatly UK leaned when I read it, Oh well. ;D

So there goes U.S. job opertunities?
So exactly who is going to pay for the design and testing of this SM?
Who will pay for the flight SM's?

So what happens if there is a political change in ESA/Europe or natural disaster that could interupt the delivery of the SM to the U.S.? That could be a major problem if there is a need to launch another Orion for part of a mission.

Edit:
This was not the type of team work that I want to see. I'd rather the ESA provide modules or other pieces of a EML1/2 station, deep space vehicle, habitates rovers ect. for Lunar or Mars. With out the SM the Orion can not fly crew. It is to an important part of the Orion system, there would need to be a back up SM as well, so better to just have Lockheed make it.

ESA could us all or part of the ATV for other future BLEO missions that could be better for us all.
« Last Edit: 11/21/2012 08:44 PM by RocketmanUS »
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Offline Star One

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http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/uk-steps-up-esa-commit-atv-service-module-orion/

Based on today, sorry about the UK angle, but that was a big deal today and......well I'm English ;D

Chris, sorry to say, but you are a bit too enthusiastic in your article. In particular I point to this part of your article:
Quote
However, with ESA’s firm involvement, Orion finds itself in a similar position of the ISS in terms of funding considerations, with the international arrangements adding a level of protection.

The fact that ESA today gave a "GO" for this, does not mean that it is now cast in iron. Here's why:

Quote from: NTRS - Building Transatlantic Partnerships in Space Exploration The MPCV-SM Study
Both
Agencies agreed to extend the assessment phase of
the potential MPCV cooperation in order to achieve
technical and programmatic maturity as would be
necessary for the decision  to be taken to the ESA
Council at Ministerial level to be held in November
2012. Should ESA and NASA decide to pursue the
collaboration past Phase A/B-1, a dedicated
arrangement, pursuant to the IGA and NASA-ESA
MOU, would be concluded after approval by the
United States Government (through the C175
process and, as necessary, other mechanisms)
and
by the November 2012 ESA Ministerial Council
meeting. 
In November 2011, ESA and NASA commenced
with the MPCV-SM phase A / B1 activities
including conducting the System Requirements
Review SRR and System Definition Review SDR
milestones in 2012.

You can find the NTRS document here: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20120012885

As you can see now the idea needs to be approved by the United States government. Todays decision by ESA was just step 1 in a 2-step process. You might want to add that little detail to your article.

Other than that I must say you managed to write another one of your award-winning articles. Well done.

Well of course. But is it likely the US will turn their nose up at this development?
« Last Edit: 11/21/2012 08:44 PM by Star One »

Offline Danderman

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Actually there is a problem with this offer.

ESA's committment to support ISS is for supporting ISS.

Orion is not supposed to service ISS, it is a BEO vehicle.

The offer to support Orion via this hardware is great for NASA, but it has nothing to do with ISS. The ISS partners are not just NASA and ESA, there is also Roskosmos, and they get nothing from this deal. What they lose is re-supply via ATV after the last ATV is gone.

This is borrowing from ISS to support BEO missions. Perhaps NASA can claim that the EML-2 mission is also part of its contribution to ISS.

Offline Star One

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Actually there is a problem with this offer.

ESA's committment to support ISS is for supporting ISS.

Orion is not supposed to service ISS, it is a BEO vehicle.

The offer to support Orion via this hardware is great for NASA, but it has nothing to do with ISS. The ISS partners are not just NASA and ESA, there is also Roskosmos, and they get nothing from this deal. What they lose is re-supply via ATV after the last ATV is gone.

This is borrowing from ISS to support BEO missions. Perhaps NASA can claim that the EML-2 mission is also part of its contribution to ISS.


Good point. Does this deal therefore risk putting a strain on the relationships of the ISS partners, I cannot imagine that it will be all that popular with some of them.

Offline CNYMike

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http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/uk-steps-up-esa-commit-atv-service-module-orion/

Based on today, sorry about the UK angle, but that was a big deal today and......well I'm English ;D

Beyond that, when you consider all the SciFi out there that shows a heavy British presence in space, on top of the influence of the British Interplanetary Society, it was weird that the UK went in the exact opposite direction in real live.  That the UK is getting involved with Orion/Deep Space exploration is a step in the right direction.  I'm excited about it, too, and I'm not English!
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