ESA and Russia’s Makeyev State Rocket Center in December 2009 announced a contract for the launch, which at the time was scheduled for late 2010. The launch price, at about 2 million euros, was attractive. Thales Alenia Space Italy, which is Expert’s prime contractor and also prime contractor for the IXV vehicle, has placed Expert in storage here and has not given up hope that it can be launched in time to demonstrate some of the technologies to be used on IXV in 2014. “The Russian Ministry of Defense apparently said some months ago that they no longer wish to provide Volna as a space launch vehicle,” one Thales Alenia Space Italy official said June 6 during a visit to the company’s facility here. “There may be a way of bartering the launch with the United States, but we are not sure. It is not so easy for small payloads to find affordable launches these days.”
Laurent Serre of the French national research agency Onera says “the Expert capsule is ready for flight. Russia was supposed to launch it but announced it would be canceled. So ESA is looking for alternative to launch and the Expert is stored.”
Would this be an appropriate secondary payload for a Dragon flight?
ExpertFunding was provided by the ESA General Studies Programme (GSP) to support Thales Alenia Space Italy in carrying out analyses to identify an alternative launch system. The availability of alternative launch systems on the Russian side appears doubtful because of the evolution of the Russian Ministry of Defence policy not to use military systems for civil space missions. A Technical Assistance Agreement to evaluate Expert launch options with US industry and NASA was approved by the US Department of State. Technical discussions with Orbital Sciences for the evaluation of alternative launch vehicles have started.
ExpertInvestigation into launcher alternatives continued after a Technical Assistance Agreement with Orbital Sciences on Pegasus and Minotaur vehicles. Talks were held with NASA and the US Army for the possible use of a new rapid response system, SWORDS, under development with NASA and the US Army. The updated Athena small launcher family from Lockheed Martin and ATK are also being studied. The most promising options appear to be those with a launch from the southern Alaska towards the north, but associated range safety issues need to be clarified.
The most promising options appear to be those with a launch from the southern Alaska towards the north, but associated range safety issues need to be clarified.
ExpertInvestigation continues for launch alternatives to Volna. The vehicle prime contractor is working with Orbital Sciences (USA) to determine the feasibility of launching Expert on a suborbital trajectory using two different launch systems (Minotaur and Pegasus Light). Talks also continue with NASA and the US Army for the possible use of SWORDS, a new rapid response system, as an option. The updated Athena small launcher family from Lockheed Martin was considered, but may be too costly for Expert objectives. As an alternative, Lockheed has proposed a solid two-stage launch system with hydrazine upper stage that could perform the misión for a lower price, being dropped from a C-17 carrier aircraft. Another possibility could be based on a sounding rocket. Lockheed has also proposed air recovery by helicopter as a way to simplify the choice of the launch site location.
Couldn't they use Vega? Or is it too expensive?It makes sense to talk to Orbital since they own most of the small launcher market. However this is taking forever...
Quote from: Oberon_Command on 10/02/2012 08:26 PMWould this be an appropriate secondary payload for a Dragon flight?It only needs a suborbital insertion. Any good sounding rocket, like the Brazilian VS-40 can do it.
Quote from: baldusi on 10/03/2012 08:49 PMQuote from: Oberon_Command on 10/02/2012 08:26 PMWould this be an appropriate secondary payload for a Dragon flight?It only needs a suborbital insertion. Any good sounding rocket, like the Brazilian VS-40 can do it.Why not use Maxus then?
European Experimental Reentry Testbed (EXPERT) Investigation of launch options as alternatives to Volna continues. Discussions took place with Orbital Sciences to study two different launch systems (Pegasus Lite and Minotaur). The two options are feasible. Talks took place with NASA and the US Army for the possible use of a new small launch system, SWORDS, jointly developed by NASA Marshall and the Army. A Technical Assistance Agreement is being prepared with Thales Alenia Space and Lockheed Martin to study the possibility of aerial recovery for the test bed.
European Experimental Reentry Testbed (EXPERT) Comparisons of alternative launch system options are ongoing, now including also launchers under development in a cooperation between Brazil and DLR. Discussions continue with NASA/US Army and US potential industrial launch service providers in order to present launch and retrieval options by late spring 2014.
European Experimental Reentry Testbed (Expert)Makeyev confirmed that the export authorisation for the recovery parachute was granted by the Russian government. Delivery and integration of the parachute on Expert in Turin (IT) is being planned, together with an extension of the storage until end-2015. The search for an alternative launch system for this suborbital mission continues, in particular in the USA.