Author Topic: SUSIE, (Smart Upper Stage for Innovative Exploration) concept from ARIANE  (Read 24620 times)

Online StarshipTrooper

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 148
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Liked: 214
  • Likes Given: 193
« Last Edit: 09/18/2022 03:18 pm by StarshipTrooper »
“I'm very confident that success is within the set of possible outcomes.”  Elon Musk

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31363
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 55801
  • Likes Given: 25187
https://twitter.com/europespace360/status/1571524384560496640

Quote
Europe’s upcoming reusable spacecraft!

Space Rider on Vega-C
SUSIE on Ariane 6

📸: @brickmack - ArianeGroup

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31363
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 55801
  • Likes Given: 25187
twitter.com/jemckevitt/status/1571500250300559364

Quote
And here it is! "Susie" from @ArianeGroup @Arianespace - making Ariane 6 more flexible for next-generation space infrastructure #IAC2022

https://twitter.com/jemckevitt/status/1571502511948963841

Quote
7 tonnes back to Earth, and critically, the ability to abort during any phase of the mission *including during powered vertical descent* - not sure that would be the most comfortable experience...

twitter.com/jemckevitt/status/1571503942873350144

Quote
Some fantastic renders of the vehicle, showing some of the flexible architecture features we can expect #IAC2022

https://twitter.com/jemckevitt/status/1571504336437641216

Quote
And missions will end with a vertical landing, from which abort will be possible during all phases! Looks promising to help Ariane 6 rival other competitors in this area

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31363
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 55801
  • Likes Given: 25187
https://press.ariane.group/arianegroup-devoile-susie-a-liac-4735/?lang=eng

Quote
ARIANEGROUP UNVEILS SUSIE AT IAC
16/09/2022

ArianeGroup presents Susie (Smart Upper Stage for Innovative Exploration), an entirely reusable stage project which meets the future needs of transport and other missions to and in space.

Susie will be able to function as an automated freighter and carry out crewed missions with astronauts in complete safety, from lift-off to landing.

Susie replaces the launcher fairing and is designed to fly on an Ariane 64 as well as on a launcher of the following generation.

Unveiled for the first time at the International Astronautical Congress in Paris (IAC 2022), Susie is a concept aiming to support European space efforts in the coming decades. It is based on an in-depth study of Europe’s future needs in terms of space transport and on-orbit services (OOS), and on the need for a profound change in the approach to access to space.

 
ArianeGroup reveals Susie (Smart Upper Stage for Innovative Exploration) for the first time at this year’s International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held in Paris. Susie is an entirely reusable rocket stage project which replaces the launcher fairing, is capable of going into space and carrying out many different types of missions there – whether automated or crewed – and coming back to land on Earth.

Susie will be able to fly both on Ariane 64 and on a launcher of the following generation, paving the way for fully reusable launchers of the future.
 
Susie is a flexible, modular, safe and reliable vehicle that will be used to perform essential missions in space – the need for which will increase in the future – whether as an automated freighter and payload transporter, or carrying a crew of up to five astronauts. Susie will be entirely reusable and will come back to Earth for a soft touchdown, after a high-precision atmospheric re-entry, offering the greatest possible end-to-end safety for the flight personnel in a crewed mission.

“With ESA and the European Commission calling for renewed European ambition for space exploration and crewed flight, and launching initiatives in this area, ArianeGroup proposes Susie. Susie is the result of several years of work by our design teams and provides a particularly ingenious solution for future in-space servicing needs and for automated or crewed flight, the demand for which will only grow in the future. This is a project built on all the existing know-how at ArianeGroup and within European industry. It is consistent with ongoing or future technological developments in the field of space transport and reuse,” says Morena Bernardini, Head of Strategy and Innovation at ArianeGroup. “It is our industrial duty to contribute to this ambition and offer European decision-makers smart and ambitious technological solutions capable of contributing to independent access to space, and also to open the door to European space exploration and address commercial and institutional needs for services in space over the coming decades.”

Susie is extremely flexible and is designed to be able to conduct numerous types of missions in space. Its large-volume internal bay (40 m3) will make it highly adaptable for cargo or payload transport and for crewed flight. Missions made possible by Susie include towing, inspecting and upgrading satellites and other payloads, and supplying fuel, food, and equipment to space stations. It will also be able to carry out crew changeovers and facilitate human in-orbit activities.

Further down the line, it will enable the in-orbit construction of large infrastructures, such as manufacturing plants which require microgravity conditions, and transport goods. It will also help reduce orbital debris and assist with removing or deorbiting end-of-life satellites. Susie could bring payloads of more than seven tons back to Earth. It will contribute to achieving the operational and commercial efficiency needed to develop activities in space.

Susie is a fully integrated concept, in order to maximize reuse potential, and therefore bring down operating costs. In particular, it comprises all mission functions, such as equipment for on-orbit support equipment and for landing or for crew safety. The mission abort safety system covers the entire mission, from lift-off to landing, guaranteeing maximum safety for the crew.

Susie is also designed from the outset to be adaptable and respond to future needs or perform new missions. For exploration purposes, Susie will thus be able to carry out long-distance missions, notably to lunar orbit, thanks to its ability to receive a space transfer module, providing propulsion and the energy and air supply needed by the crew.

The Susie concept has been designed with a view to be adaptable to different types of future launchers coming into existence over the long term.

Initially it will be launched by Ariane 6, with no modifications needed for the automated freighter version: for crewed flight, a few adaptations to launcher and ground segment will be made. Ariane 6 compatibility was defined in terms of Susie’s geometry (length 12 meters and width 5 meters to fit the diameter of the launcher) and its mass (25 tons, corresponding to Ariane 64’s low Earth orbit (LEO) performance)..

With no major subsequent modification, Susie could then be used on a future generation of European reusable heavy-lift launchers. Susie is in fact a component of the launcher family project being proposed by ArianeGroup and its partners to the European Space Agency (ESA), for its NESTS (New European Space Transportation Solutions) initiative. This family of reusable, modular launchers is built around common technological building blocks, such as the Prometheus engine, or those developed under the Themis program. It comprises a mini-launcher, a medium launcher and a heavy-lift launcher, each being a bigger-scale version of the previous one. A “super-heavy” version could be made up of the heavy-lift launcher plus two reusable liquid propulsion boosters which are used for the first stage of the mini-launcher. These heavy-lift launchers will be able to carry Susie, thus paving the way for future entirely reusable European launchers.

This vision of the future for Europe’s launchers is based on an in-depth study of possible future scenarios and the corresponding space missions. Space transport from Earth to space is today based on a direct “point-to-point” approach, which involves waste and launchers which differ widely from one another according to the masses to be carried and the destinations to be reached. In the near future, in order to optimize development and operating costs and to be able to carry out the wide variety of future missions, it will be necessary to adopt a “networked” approach, similar to the current air transport “hubs”. With this new approach, launchers will serve LEO and a new orbit beyond the Van Allen Belts called a “parking orbit”. From these orbits, other spacecraft would take over and head for the final destinations. Susie aims to be a stakeholder in this future, resilient and scalable space transport system, performing missions in space and bringing goods and humans back to Earth.
« Last Edit: 09/18/2022 07:50 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31363
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 55801
  • Likes Given: 25187
« Last Edit: 09/18/2022 07:57 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline vaporcobra

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2436
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Liked: 7569
  • Likes Given: 8706
Strangely trapped behind a registration wall but here are some additional images and a link to the full video download.

https://press.ariane.group/download/?aid=4750&vid=1&src=source

This is in one of the tweets up thread, but I thought it deserved to be highlighted.
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline FishInferno

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 162
  • Liked: 153
  • Likes Given: 206
Very cool concept, the heat shield "flaps"/landing legs are particularly interesting. Any more information about their function?

I wonder how many people could fit in a crewed version that eliminates the cargo bay entirely.

In any case, glad to see ArianeSpace embracing reusable vehicles, even if they'll come a generation behind the competition. ESA funding should keep them afloat until then.
Comparing SpaceX and SLS is like comparing paying people to plant fruit trees with merely digging holes and filling them.  - Robotbeat

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2234
  • Liked: 791
  • Likes Given: 29
Despite the Ariane 64 image, a candidate for pairing with the Maia Space launcher perhaps?

How much of this is Spacerider lineage though? I get more of a Kliper capsule vibe, as well as DC-X with the necessary swoop-of-death.


Hopefully not Hermes part deux...

Offline TrevorMonty

It looks like some of design is coming from SpaceRider. Adding cargo bay to crew vehicle puts lot more demand on LAS. I'd keep the two separate that way cargo version doesn't need as power LAS engines.

Nice to see totally different approach to crew vehicle.

Online chopsticks

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 536
  • Québec, Canada
  • Liked: 602
  • Likes Given: 105
I like it! It looks like the second stage isn't reusable though.

Offline TheRadicalModerate

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3115
  • Tampa, FL
  • Liked: 2291
  • Likes Given: 449
ArianeGroup Susie video:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/749959501

What chopsticks just said:  This keeps getting billed as an upper stage, but it appears from this video that most of the ascent delta-v is coming from an expendable stage that separates.  So it appears to be more like a Dragon 2 on steroids (complete with the original D2 powered landing) than an actual reusable second stage, doesn't it?

And I don't understand how they can bill this as having any kind of landing abort--unless they're planning on popping 'chutes if things go hinky with the propulsive part of landing.  There's certainly not enough delta-v to abort back to orbit.

PS:  We're reasonably sure that this is not the same idea as Jarvis, correct?  Jarvis seems to be billed as something approaching a mini-Starship, while this... isn't?
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 02:55 am by TheRadicalModerate »

ArianeGroup Susie video:

https://player.vimeo.com/video/749959501

What chopsticks just said:  This keeps getting billed as an upper stage, but it appears from this video that most of the ascent delta-v is coming from an expendable stage that separates.  So it appears to be more like a Dragon 2 on steroids (complete with the original D2 powered landing) than an actual reusable second stage, doesn't it?

That's definitely the Ariane 6 upper stage, for the record.

I'm not sure how heavy SUSIE would be, but I bet that it's more than the Ariane 64's payload to LEO. If it is, then SUSIE actually would need to use it's own fuel to get to orbit. So it would be a reusable upper stage, it's just it's a 3rd stage, not a 2nd.

EDIT: Fixed run on sentence.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 06:04 pm by JEF_300 »
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32518
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 21129
  • Likes Given: 3641
I'm not sure how heavy SUSIE would be, but I bet that it's more than the Ariane 64 payload to LEO, so I bet it actually does need to use it's own fuel to get to orbit. So it would be a reusable upper stage, it's just it's a 3rd stage, not a 2nd.

Its mass is given in the press release as 25 t. The press release says this is the payload mass of Ariane 64, but the Arianespace web site only gives a 21.6 t LEO payload mass! If Susie acts as a third stage, then the 25 t could be the payload put into a suborbital trajectory, with Susie then using some of the extra 3.4 t of propellant to get into LEO.

"Ariane 6 compatibility was defined in terms of Susie’s geometry (length 12 meters and width 5 meters to fit the diameter of the launcher) and its mass (25 tons, corresponding to Ariane 64’s low Earth orbit (LEO) performance)."

https://www.arianespace.com/vehicle/ariane-6/

"Ariane 64, with four boosters, can place up to 11.5 tons into GTO in dual launch configuration, and up to 21.6 tons into LEO."
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 08:16 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Xentry

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 157
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Liked: 38
  • Likes Given: 15
How much of this is Spacerider lineage though? I get more of a Kliper capsule vibe, as well as DC-X with the necessary swoop-of-death.
Hopefully not Hermes part deux...

Suspect this is a French-based competitor for any sort of SpaceRider evolution (especially given the recent declarations that it could be modified to become a crewed vehicle). Remember that ArianeGroup is majority owned by Airbus, whereas SpaceRider builds on technology developed for quite some time in Italy, and is co-led by Thales Alenia Space (the other main contractor for SpaceRider is Avio, who builds the Vega Launcher).
Basically, this sets up another France vs. Italy dispute, of which there are many and often (and within ESA, France usually wins because it spends so much more on ESA than everyone else but Germany).
In addition, it may be a way for ArianeGroup to extend its' monopoly on launchers in Europe (again) since I suspect that there won't be an open competition to chart a way forward on european crewed vehicles (the discussion will be largely political, and probably occur already at the C-MIN22 in November). Lots of taxpayer money will follow, likely without any benefit in cost of access to space unless explicitly forced by other ESA members (because Ariane 6 + Susie will still be a lot more expensive than the partially reusable Falcon9 + Dragon).
Europe cannot afford the kind of waste that NASA can, and this sure looks expensive. Let's see what the next steps are.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
Despite the Ariane 64 image, a candidate for pairing with the Maia Space launcher perhaps?

How much of this is Spacerider lineage though? I get more of a Kliper capsule vibe, as well as DC-X with the necessary swoop-of-death.


Hopefully not Hermes part deux...

Susie has a high chance of becoming exactly that IMO.

After reading the official ArianeGroup press release I could not help but notice some of the same over-enthusiastic and unrealistic sales talk (bordering on hubris) that accompanied Hermes back in the day.

Particularly the size and projected capabilities are grossly out of touch with the given wet mass (25 metric tons). The exact same disconnect is what saw Hermes spiral into a never-ending cycle of redesigns and lessening of the capabilities, just to stay within the capabilities of its projected launcher. The generation of engineers at Euro aerospace industries who experienced THAT have mostly left the stage. The new generation is running a serious risk of having to relearn the lessons from Hermes...the hard way.

I have some insight into some technical issues that come along with the current "design" of Susie. But I can't share those here without putting my source's career at risk. So I won't.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 12:54 pm by woods170 »

Online Rondaz

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26748
  • Liked: 5171
  • Likes Given: 166
During the first day of #IAC2022 in Paris, @ArianeGroup introduced SUSIE (Smart Upper Stage for Innovative Exploration). The vehicle will enable independent European crew and cargo capabilities to low Earth orbit. It's a very ambitious proposal.

https://twitter.com/AndrewParsonson/status/1571743729366568960

Online Rondaz

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26748
  • Liked: 5171
  • Likes Given: 166
At 12m high, 5m in diameter and with a 40m³ unpressurized cargo area, the ship would be really big.

https://twitter.com/SpaceNosey/status/1571742021924311042

Online Rondaz

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26748
  • Liked: 5171
  • Likes Given: 166

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
All the errors of Hermes, repeated 40 years later. The managers and system engineers of Hermes are still around, these guys should have talked to them.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 11:22 am by hektor »

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
All the errors of Hermes, repeated 40 years later. The managers and system engineers of Hermes are still around, these guys should have talked to them.

Sorry, but most of them are in fact no longer around. That is: a lot of them have retired or moved on to other businesses. And industries like Airbus et al. do not make a habit of asking the opinion of their retired engineers and managers before launching (pun intended) another bad idea.

But I fully agree with you that SUSIE is repeating all the errors of Hermes. Starting with the unrealistic wet mass of just 25 metric tons for a vehicle that is 5 meters in diameter, is 12 meters long, has a crew compartment for 7 AND also having a 40 cubic meter payload bay AND a 7 metric ton payload capacity. That does not add up. Throw in a multi-ton propellant load and engines strong enough to land the entire thing propulsively and it does not add up AT ALL. Much like the numbers never added up for the initial 10 development iterations of Hermes. And when they finally DID start to add up for Hermes, the vehicle had lost most of its originally promised capabilities.

If SUSIE remains marrried to a 25-ton-to-LEO launcher, than it will start losing capabilities and capacities fast, once they start to seriously develop this contraption.


This book should be required reading for everyone who works in the European spaceflight industry: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-44472-7

« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 12:58 pm by woods170 »

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
When I was saying still around, I meant not dead.

The two Hermes project managers which I know for a fact are still around are significantly younger than Bill Nelson (to give a benchmark), they are still able to have a technical discussion and they know their turf, if you allow me this judgement.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 12:57 pm by hektor »

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
When I was saying still around, I meant not dead.

The two Hermes project managers which I know for a fact are still around are significantly younger than Bill Nelson (to give a benchmark), they are still able to have a technical discussion and they know their turf, if you allow me this judgement.

Oh, I agree fully with you: the Hermes veterans absolutely know their turf. They have been there, for the entire painful learning experience that was Hermes. The result was that the next big project (ATV) was much more rooted in reality.

I already figured you meant "not dead", which is why I noted that Airbus et al. are not in the habit of consulting with their retired engineers first. They might still be around physically, but their knowledge is effectively lost to the European spaceflight industry, courtesy of no longer working there.

I can imagine that quite a few of the Hermes era (see what I did there...) engineers and managers are scratching their heads in disbelief over the current SUSIE proposal.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
I think SUSIE is a good idea from ArianeGroup, but it's a little ambitious, we seen what result that give us with Hermes...

SUSIE can be product, the company has all the technology to making it. They just mustn't to do the same errors. We know the reliability of Ariane 5, and all the products of ArianeGroup. In Europe they know how to make a lifting body vehicle, with the IXV experience. 

And, this time, I think they can do it. Good luck A-G.

Online Rondaz

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26748
  • Liked: 5171
  • Likes Given: 166
Arianespace unveils 'Susie' - Reusable spacecraft for crew and cargo missions


Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 36158
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 20508
  • Likes Given: 10636
Arianespace unveils 'Susie' - Reusable spacecraft for crew and cargo missions


Well that looks like a combination of Dragon and Starship.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But the Ariane 6 booster with its solids and full expendability looks very out of place. Ariane Next would make a lot more sense.

I mean:
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 05:01 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
This is the document. We can see only 8,3T maximum in GTO. So I think the LEO payload is about 20-21T.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 36158
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 20508
  • Likes Given: 10636
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Prometheus is slightly less thrust than Aeon R, but there may be up to 9 engines on Ariane NEXT vs 7 for Terran-R. They both use methalox. So Ariane NEXT should have about the same performance as Terran-R. Terran-R plans at least 20t of fully reusable launch capacity to LEO, so Ariane NEXT almost certainly could do SUSIE to LEO if partially expendable or if SUSIE provides assistance in getting to orbit.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Alpha_Centauri

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 758
  • England
  • Liked: 334
  • Likes Given: 157
I'm not sure how heavy SUSIE would be, but I bet that it's more than the Ariane 64 payload to LEO, so I bet it actually does need to use it's own fuel to get to orbit. So it would be a reusable upper stage, it's just it's a 3rd stage, not a 2nd.

Its mass is given in the press release as 25 t. The press release says this is the payload mass of Ariane 64, but the Arianespace web site only gives a 21.6 t LEO payload mass! If Susie acts as a third stage, then the 25 t could be the payload put into a suborbital trajectory, with Susie then using some of the extra 3.4 t of propellant to get into LEO.

"Ariane 6 compatibility was defined in terms of Susie’s geometry (length 12 meters and width 5 meters to fit the diameter of the launcher) and its mass (25 tons, corresponding to Ariane 64’s low Earth orbit (LEO) performance)."

https://www.arianespace.com/vehicle/ariane-6/

"Ariane 64, with four boosters, can place up to 11.5 tons into GTO in dual launch configuration, and up to 21.6 tons into LEO."

You are forgetting there are already plans to boost Ariane 6's payload mass beyond the baseline.

There will be a new P120C+ solid motor to launch Amazon's Project Kuiper. It has been quoted to add up to 2 t to Ariane 64's LEO payload. So with that you are almost there.

Avio talk about a P160 replacement for P120 too, but from the little that has been released I can't work out if that is just another name for the above or if this is a parallel development.

So with those and other tweaks to improve performance, by the time this ever flies I expect Ariane 64 will be able to lift 25 t.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 07:24 pm by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
Yes effectively with this evolution, that can be possible. I just have a little question... Did we know the type of the SUSIE's motors? An architecture with many engines like the ESM, or just a single Prometheus?

Yes effectively with this evolution, that can be possible. I just have a little question... Did we know the type of the SUSIE's motors? An architecture with many engines like the ESM, or just a single Prometheus?

In the video it looks, to me, like a lot of engines. I think I counted at least 8 plumes at one point.
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
Mmmm basing a new vehicle on the maximum performance of a future variant of a launcher which has not flown yet is really the receipe for success.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2022 06:37 pm by hektor »

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
Same idea for the SLS. ;). If the SUSIE's propulsion system is based on the Dragon's one, A-G IST just CTRL+C Space X, because they have better systems.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 36158
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 20508
  • Likes Given: 10636
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1410
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 538
  • Likes Given: 205
Maybe learn to walk before attempting to run a marathon.
I see a lot of resemblance of the Expert Reentry demonstrator that has been dusting away for nearly a decade.
This SUSIE will have a development timeline of over a decade.
It could be a future development, phase A study nothing more for this ministerial.
A microlauncher is needed to launch Expert and Shefex and execute those test.
They should experiment with a lander / reusable suborbital rocket (microlauncher first stage).
This shouldn't be on the table at this ministerial!

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4370
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1321
  • Likes Given: 1146
Maybe learn to walk before attempting to run a marathon.
I see a lot of resemblance of the Expert Reentry demonstrator that has been dusting away for nearly a decade.
This SUSIE will have a development timeline of over a decade.
It could be a future development, phase A study nothing more for this ministerial.
A microlauncher is needed to launch Expert and Shefex and execute those test.
They should experiment with a lander / reusable suborbital rocket (microlauncher first stage).
This shouldn't be on the table at this ministerial!
There is no point in a sub-orbital micro launcher/lander combination. Unless the goal is a sub-orbital launcher.

The SUSIE concept could start by experimenting with vehicle recovery after delivering payloads without crew. 

Offline beb

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 270
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 8
All the errors of Hermes, repeated 40 years later. The managers and system engineers of Hermes are still around, these guys should have talked to them.

Sorry, but most of them are in fact no longer around. That is: a lot of them have retired or moved on to other businesses. And industries like Airbus et al. do not make a habit of asking the opinion of their retired engineers and managers before launching (pun intended) another bad idea.

But I fully agree with you that SUSIE is repeating all the errors of Hermes. Starting with the unrealistic wet mass of just 25 metric tons for a vehicle that is 5 meters in diameter, is 12 meters long, has a crew compartment for 7 AND also having a 40 cubic meter payload bay AND a 7 metric ton payload capacity. That does not add up. Throw in a multi-ton propellant load and engines strong enough to land the entire thing propulsively and it does not add up AT ALL. Much like the numbers never added up for the initial 10 development iterations of Hermes. And when they finally DID start to add up for Hermes, the vehicle had lost most of its originally promised capabilities.

If SUSIE remains marrried to a 25-ton-to-LEO launcher, than it will start losing capabilities and capacities fast, once they start to seriously develop this contraption.


This book should be required reading for everyone who works in the European spaceflight industry: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-44472-7

From my reading of the press release SUSIE would be either crew or cargo but not both, which makes it sound a lot like Dragon2. Also the press release said 5 crew not 7. The video showed a kick stage thus answering how a 25 t craft could be launched on Ariane 6. I am curious how SUSIE will do a propulsive landing, though.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 36158
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 20508
  • Likes Given: 10636
The strongest benefit of a reusable upper stage being VTVL is it also can work with landing on Mars or the Moon and can do aerocapture maneuvers.

If you give it a small 300m/s delta-v or so, it can land on Earth and the Moon (with the help of a crasher stage) or Mars. That’s basically propulsive Dragon capability that Dragon could have but gave up on except for abort purposes.


With 2-3km/s, it can land on the Moon (with the help of a crasher stage) and then launch back to orbit (all the way to NHRO or even back to Earth, on the high end). At 4km/s it can do that trick on Mars (no need for crasher stage due to the atmosphere). At 5-6km/s it can do a round trip from C3=0 to the Moon’s surface and back to Earth without a crasher stage, it can launch direct from Mars to either high Mars orbit or maybe even all the way back to Earth, and it can act as a nice reusable upper stage for a TSTO RLV.

What kind of delta-v is SUSIE planned for?

If 4-6km/s, this would be an impressive capability that would beat anything short of full Starship. And would allow Europe to compete or cooperate as equals to the Moon or Mars.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 12:22 am by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline two.scan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Looking at Ariane 6 development (which is an evolution of Ariane 5) approved at ESA Council at Ministry in 2014 ..so 9 years … would mean if approved this year NET 2031…but taking into account only European real experience on reentry is ixv .. adding complexity of propulsive landing… would mean NET 2035

Ok…
« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 01:47 am by two.scan »

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2234
  • Liked: 791
  • Likes Given: 29
All the errors of Hermes, repeated 40 years later. The managers and system engineers of Hermes are still around, these guys should have talked to them.

Sorry, but most of them are in fact no longer around. That is: a lot of them have retired or moved on to other businesses. And industries like Airbus et al. do not make a habit of asking the opinion of their retired engineers and managers before launching (pun intended) another bad idea.

But I fully agree with you that SUSIE is repeating all the errors of Hermes. Starting with the unrealistic wet mass of just 25 metric tons for a vehicle that is 5 meters in diameter, is 12 meters long, has a crew compartment for 7 AND also having a 40 cubic meter payload bay AND a 7 metric ton payload capacity. That does not add up. Throw in a multi-ton propellant load and engines strong enough to land the entire thing propulsively and it does not add up AT ALL. Much like the numbers never added up for the initial 10 development iterations of Hermes. And when they finally DID start to add up for Hermes, the vehicle had lost most of its originally promised capabilities.

If SUSIE remains marrried to a 25-ton-to-LEO launcher, than it will start losing capabilities and capacities fast, once they start to seriously develop this contraption.


This book should be required reading for everyone who works in the European spaceflight industry: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-44472-7

From my reading of the press release SUSIE would be either crew or cargo but not both, which makes it sound a lot like Dragon2. Also the press release said 5 crew not 7. The video showed a kick stage thus answering how a 25 t craft could be launched on Ariane 6. I am curious how SUSIE will do a propulsive landing, though.

Video shows both a docking/airlock module (which appears to be connected to the front with some sort of port and is symmetrical so has an aft port too) and an unpressurized cargo in the bay, along with a EVA astronaut.

So I get the feeling it's nominal arrangements are airlock+cargo, airlock+airlock (sorta like double SpaceHab on the shuttle) unless they go for a double length airlock module, and potentially an open double length bay for cargo (but that means the pressurized space forward is inaccessible? I guess that would be a grapple only arrangement without berthing?)

The odd spaces on the side of the payload bay look ideal for 3U cubesat dispensers.

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
Going through my old brochures from Le Bourget Air Show of the early 90s...

The final version of Hermes, which was "the most feasible" but which was not closing the loop in terms of performance was 23 t, with a crew of 3 and a payload of 3 metric tons. 1 ton in the space plane and 2 tons in the expendable module called MRH which was disposed of at the end of the mission.

Here we have 25 t with a crew of 5 or(*) a payload of 7.5 tons. We do not have the wings but we have the propellant to reenter, descend and land. Something does not add up here.

(*) I say or and not and because I want to be fair but I think the presentation is a bit ambiguous on that.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 06:47 am by hektor »

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
All the errors of Hermes, repeated 40 years later. The managers and system engineers of Hermes are still around, these guys should have talked to them.
And Hermes was bascially modelled on the X20 Dyna-soar.

Which also got cancelled due to unforseen weight growth (among a bunch of other reaasons, but it didn't help).

You'll note the video give no idea of how this vehicle is going to re-enter the atmosphere. Since it has no wings it's closest resemblance is Crew Dragon, but with powered landing.

Well what do you know? The first crew Dragon flight was in 2020.

It seems the French are copying concepts from the more recent past than they used to.

I supposed we should call that progress?   :(

MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
In addition, it may be a way for ArianeGroup to extend its' monopoly on launchers in Europe (again) since I suspect that there won't be an open competition to chart a way forward on european crewed vehicles (the discussion will be largely political, and probably occur already at the C-MIN22 in November).
An open competiton?

What an intriguing notion.  Who knows who might step forward in such an environment?

Quote from: Xentry
Lots of taxpayer money will follow, likely without any benefit in cost of access to space unless explicitly forced by other ESA members (because Ariane 6 + Susie will still be a lot more expensive than the partially reusable Falcon9 + Dragon).
True, but it's not about cost, it's about guaranteed access, and there is a history of the US denying access to space launch when it's economic well being (or more accurately the well being of a US business) is threatened.
Quote from: Xentry
Europe cannot afford the kind of waste that NASA can, and this sure looks expensive. Let's see what the next steps are.
Indeed.
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline libra

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1820
  • Liked: 1201
  • Likes Given: 2359
Not easy to grasp this concept inner workings. Here is my own take, for what's its worth.

- Present Ariane 6 is boosters + Vulcain core + hydrolox second stage. And so SUSIE would go on top of that as a versatile upper stage (third or fourth stage, depends if you count the boosters as a "stage 0").

- I remember that Ariane 5 is kind of similar: boosters (big ones) with a Vulcain core stage. But the hydrolox stage could be either deleted (for LEO missions like Envisat or ATV) or replaced by an Aestus.

- sooo : can Ariane 6 fly without that hydrolox second stage ? and then SUSIE would fly like an Aestus or an ATV, top of the core;  with some internal propulsive capability but not too much.

- Next step would be to replace the main core and its boosters with something akin to a F9R booster (MAIA, is that thou ?) , with a much stretched and heavier SUSIE on top; and boom, fully reusable TSTO.

- Still I doesn't find that path very convincing, there are some performances gaps here and there...
It looks like a slightly chaotic path toward a Falcon 9 -size BFR-Starship system. 

I suppose SUSIE propulsion system is storables ?   the closest thing from it in Ariane / ESA / CNES history then would be Aestus and ATV (and de facto: Orion propulsion module as it loosely derives from ATV)

Yeah feels like an atempt at creating some kind of hybrid of ATV, Aestus, and Hermes.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 08:58 am by libra »

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
I think nowadays this European crew system could be competed.

Potential bidders : the "twins" Airbus and ArianeGroup (for instance the European Service Module of Orion is Airbus, not ArianeGroup, while SUSIE is ArianeGroup), Thales Alenia Space (lots of experience in pressurized modules, prime contractor of Gateway habitat iHab), the Marco Fuchs galaxy of companies in Europe (OHB, etc).

And potential "new" entrants : Dassault Aviation (with their Hermes background) and The Exploration Company (the company of Hélène Huby).

You can build at least two, maybe three competing consortia with these.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 09:24 am by hektor »

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Not if it also needs the same propulsion to do the deorbit burn AND land propulsively, all within a wet mass budget of max. 25 metric tons while having a crew cabin for 5 AND a 40 cubic meter payload bay with airlock for EVA AND other unpressurized cargo.

The projected capabilities and the wet mass don't match. That is UNLESS the vehicle, after reaching orbit, goes to a propellant depot first. Needless to say: a propellant depot was not mentioned during the ArianeGroup presentation.

So this thing, if considered for actual development, will be going down the same road as Hermes: once the engineers start adding up the numbers the mass will go up, which requires the capabilities and size going down to get the mass numbers back down to where they can meet the launch capabilities of the projected launch vehicle.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 09:51 am by woods170 »

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
From my reading of the press release SUSIE would be either crew or cargo but not both, which makes it sound a lot like Dragon2. Also the press release said 5 crew not 7.

Emphasis mine.

Correct. That is my bad. I mixed up the numbers for crew and metric tons of cargo returned. Crew is five. Metric tons of cargo returned is seven.
Thanks for pointing out.


The video showed a kick stage thus answering how a 25 t craft could be launched on Ariane 6. I am curious how SUSIE will do a propulsive landing, though.

The video showed the Vinci-powered ULPM, which is not a kick stage but the standard upper stage of Ariane 6. The video also mentions that SUSIE would launch on Ariane 64 Evolution, which has a predicted payload-to-LEO capability of 25 metric tons.


What I doubt (and so does Hektor if I read his posts correctly) is that the given capabilities of SUSIE, as presented in the video and press release, fit within the 25 metric ton wet mass limit. I think that they don't fit.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
All the errors of Hermes, repeated 40 years later. The managers and system engineers of Hermes are still around, these guys should have talked to them.
And Hermes was bascially modelled on the X20 Dyna-soar.

Which also got cancelled due to unforseen weight growth (among a bunch of other reaasons, but it didn't help).

You'll note the video give no idea of how this vehicle is going to re-enter the atmosphere. Since it has no wings it's closest resemblance is Crew Dragon, but with powered landing.

Emphasis mine.

Think IXV and Space Rider: lifting body reentry.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
As we can see on the presentation video, the spacecraft will be launch with an Ariane 6. But i think they can launch it on an Ariane NEXT, if it has the payload capacity, with a second stage with  a Prometheus Vaccum engine. It's adaptable.

Offline Timber Micka

From my reading of the press release SUSIE would be either crew or cargo but not both, which makes it sound a lot like Dragon2. Also the press release said 5 crew not 7.

Emphasis mine.

Correct. That is my bad. I mixed up the numbers for crew and metric tons of cargo returned. Crew is five. Metric tons of cargo returned is seven.
Thanks for pointing out.


The video showed a kick stage thus answering how a 25 t craft could be launched on Ariane 6. I am curious how SUSIE will do a propulsive landing, though.

The video showed the Vinci-powered ULPM, which is not a kick stage but the standard upper stage of Ariane 6. The video also mentions that SUSIE would launch on Ariane 64 Evolution, which has a predicted payload-to-LEO capability of 25 metric tons.


What I doubt (and so does Hektor if I read his posts correctly) is that the given capabilities of SUSIE, as presented in the video and press release, fit within the 25 metric ton wet mass limit. I think that they don't fit.

The renderings do not show Ariane 6 Evolution but the standard version of the rocket, which cannot launch SUSIE into orbit. The renderings used for the presentation are not intended to be faithful to reality but to give an idea of ​​what SUSIE would look like in operation.
Currently, Ariane 6 Evolution is supposed to use the new composite Icarus upper stage and the improved P120+ boosters.

I don't know why people in this thread are freaking out over deliberately ballpark numbers. This is only a concept developed internally by ArianeGroup who are, it should be noted, the operators of Ariane and not spacecraft design specialists.
If ESA is interested in this concept, they will have the project carried out by Airbus/CNES/DLR/Dassault/etc who will carry out a much more in-depth study.

This animation is as representative of the final product as that of the ITS presented by SpaceX in 2016 is representative of Starship.

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
People like me are freaking out not only about the figures but about the narrative behind them.

This is based on history of Hermes. The original sins of Hermes are well known, they were there from the start and eventually killed the project.

The solution defined a priori : it had to be a space plane
The non standard launcher interface
The performance conundrum : the mass was increasing (like in any space project) and Ariane 5 was marginal from the start and trying to catch up.
The addition of requirements not directly related to transportation of crew to LEO : the vehicle had to have an airlock, separate from the cabin, carry EVA suits, the vehicle had to carry three tons of payload at launch, both unpressurized and pressurized, the vehicle had to carry a robot arm, etc
etc...

and some of the features outlined in this presentation remind me these.

« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 01:24 pm by hektor »

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 36158
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 20508
  • Likes Given: 10636
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Not if it also needs the same propulsion to do the deorbit burn AND land propulsively, all within a wet mass budget of max. 25 metric tons while having a crew cabin for 5 AND a 40 cubic meter payload bay with airlock for EVA AND other unpressurized cargo.

The projected capabilities and the wet mass don't match. That is UNLESS the vehicle, after reaching orbit, goes to a propellant depot first. Needless to say: a propellant depot was not mentioned during the ArianeGroup presentation.

So this thing, if considered for actual development, will be going down the same road as Hermes: once the engineers start adding up the numbers the mass will go up, which requires the capabilities and size going down to get the mass numbers back down to where they can meet the launch capabilities of the projected launch vehicle.
25t is the dry mass budget.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
I hope not. I hope it is the mass at launch.

Offline Oli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2459
  • Liked: 594
  • Likes Given: 60
They call it upper stage yet the upper stage is expended. For cargo it only reuses the fairing, for manned flights it's arguably too big.

I don't get it.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Not if it also needs the same propulsion to do the deorbit burn AND land propulsively, all within a wet mass budget of max. 25 metric tons while having a crew cabin for 5 AND a 40 cubic meter payload bay with airlock for EVA AND other unpressurized cargo.

The projected capabilities and the wet mass don't match. That is UNLESS the vehicle, after reaching orbit, goes to a propellant depot first. Needless to say: a propellant depot was not mentioned during the ArianeGroup presentation.

So this thing, if considered for actual development, will be going down the same road as Hermes: once the engineers start adding up the numbers the mass will go up, which requires the capabilities and size going down to get the mass numbers back down to where they can meet the launch capabilities of the projected launch vehicle.
25t is the dry mass budget.

No, it is not. 25 Metric tons is the wet mass. "Wet", because is has liquid propellants loaded. Dry mass always refers to the vehicle mass without propellants onboard. Spacecraft basics 101.


SUSIE is launched on Ariane 64 Evolution, which can carry at most 25 metric tons to LEO. Launching a SUSIE that has a 'dry' mass of 25 metric tons will result in a vehicle arriving on orbit that cannot do anything, because there are no propellants onboard.

To have SUSIE deorbit from LEO as well as propulsively land it on Terra Firma, requires carrying multiple tons of propellant. All of which are already onboard when the vehicle is launched, given that no orbital depot is involved in the presented SUSIE architecture. The multiple metric tons of propellants therefore are a considerable part of the 25 metric tons mass budget.
Dry mass of SUSIE will therefore need to be considerably LESS than 25 metric tons.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 02:59 pm by woods170 »

Offline Barley

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 686
  • Liked: 449
  • Likes Given: 247
True, but it's not about cost, it's about guaranteed access, and there is a history of the US denying access to space launch when it's economic well being (or more accurately the well being of a US business) is threatened.
Cost matters for commercial purposes.  Guaranteed access at too high a price does nothing for a business that has competitors with much lower costs.

Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Not if it also needs the same propulsion to do the deorbit burn AND land propulsively, all within a wet mass budget of max. 25 metric tons while having a crew cabin for 5 AND a 40 cubic meter payload bay with airlock for EVA AND other unpressurized cargo.

The projected capabilities and the wet mass don't match. That is UNLESS the vehicle, after reaching orbit, goes to a propellant depot first. Needless to say: a propellant depot was not mentioned during the ArianeGroup presentation.

So this thing, if considered for actual development, will be going down the same road as Hermes: once the engineers start adding up the numbers the mass will go up, which requires the capabilities and size going down to get the mass numbers back down to where they can meet the launch capabilities of the projected launch vehicle.

Unless they go directly to the Ariane NEXT...
The knowledge is power...Everything is connected...
The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Not if it also needs the same propulsion to do the deorbit burn AND land propulsively, all within a wet mass budget of max. 25 metric tons while having a crew cabin for 5 AND a 40 cubic meter payload bay with airlock for EVA AND other unpressurized cargo.

The projected capabilities and the wet mass don't match. That is UNLESS the vehicle, after reaching orbit, goes to a propellant depot first. Needless to say: a propellant depot was not mentioned during the ArianeGroup presentation.

So this thing, if considered for actual development, will be going down the same road as Hermes: once the engineers start adding up the numbers the mass will go up, which requires the capabilities and size going down to get the mass numbers back down to where they can meet the launch capabilities of the projected launch vehicle.

Unless they go directly to the Ariane NEXT...

In which case SUSIE won't fly for at least another 12 years...

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
All the errors of Hermes, repeated 40 years later. The managers and system engineers of Hermes are still around, these guys should have talked to them.
And Hermes was bascially modelled on the X20 Dyna-soar.

Which also got cancelled due to unforseen weight growth (among a bunch of other reaasons, but it didn't help).

You'll note the video give no idea of how this vehicle is going to re-enter the atmosphere. Since it has no wings it's closest resemblance is Crew Dragon, but with powered landing.

Emphasis mine.

Think IXV and Space Rider: lifting body reentry.
So nose first, not rear end down, like Dragon or Starliner. More like DC.

Really does feel like Hermes deja vu.  :(

And I hate nostalgia  :(

MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline gosnold

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 568
  • Liked: 235
  • Likes Given: 2027
They call it upper stage yet the upper stage is expended. For cargo it only reuses the fairing, for manned flights it's arguably too big.

I don't get it.

Yep, it serves no purpose.

If you want independent access to ISS/ future LEO stations it's too big. If you want access to the Gateway it's too heavy. If you want to deploy constellations it's still throwing away the 2nd stage.

Basically, it's a cool PR ploy.

Instead, they could have put forward a reusable 2nd stage for Ariane Next, for cheaper constellation deployment, or a refuellable kick stage for interplanetary missions. But those don't have astronauts so they are not cool enoug to open the IAC.


Offline Exastro

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • USA
  • Liked: 107
  • Likes Given: 50
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Not if it also needs the same propulsion to do the deorbit burn AND land propulsively, all within a wet mass budget of max. 25 metric tons while having a crew cabin for 5 AND a 40 cubic meter payload bay with airlock for EVA AND other unpressurized cargo.

The projected capabilities and the wet mass don't match. That is UNLESS the vehicle, after reaching orbit, goes to a propellant depot first. Needless to say: a propellant depot was not mentioned during the ArianeGroup presentation.

"This vision of the future for Europe’s launchers is based on an in-depth study of possible future scenarios and the corresponding space missions... In the near future... it will be necessary to adopt a “networked” approach, similar to the current air transport “hubs”... launchers will serve LEO and a new orbit beyond the Van Allen Belts called a “parking orbit”. From these orbits, other spacecraft would take over and head for the final destinations."
 
It's pretty vague, but it sounds like SUSIE might be a surface-to-station shuttle, with the station potentially resupplying it in orbit.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2022 08:44 pm by Exastro »

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15722
  • Liked: 6003
  • Likes Given: 2644
I didn't realize this but it seems that Susie could fly to lunar orbit:

https://twitter.com/SPACEdotcom/status/1572317608271028226

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
We can see two fuel tanks, so it will be a refuelling on LEO before TLO burn like the Starship? If that permise to join the gateway that's a masterclass.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
It's just a little strange because we can see a 1 engine stage behind SUSIE. Is it an UPLM? Or an Ariane NEXT second stage ? And the SUSIE'S architecture isn't the same as we see for the first version. So It's maybe "SUSIE Deep Space"

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
I didn't realize this but it seems that Susie could fly to lunar orbit:

https://twitter.com/SPACEdotcom/status/1572317608271028226
So it's not the Hermes/Dyna-soar revisited.

Ariane group rediscovers the BAE "Multi Purpose Capsule"  :(

Those whose who do not learn the lessons of history..... :(
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Not if it also needs the same propulsion to do the deorbit burn AND land propulsively, all within a wet mass budget of max. 25 metric tons while having a crew cabin for 5 AND a 40 cubic meter payload bay with airlock for EVA AND other unpressurized cargo.

The projected capabilities and the wet mass don't match. That is UNLESS the vehicle, after reaching orbit, goes to a propellant depot first. Needless to say: a propellant depot was not mentioned during the ArianeGroup presentation.

"This vision of the future for Europe’s launchers is based on an in-depth study of possible future scenarios and the corresponding space missions... In the near future... it will be necessary to adopt a “networked” approach, similar to the current air transport “hubs”... launchers will serve LEO and a new orbit beyond the Van Allen Belts called a “parking orbit”. From these orbits, other spacecraft would take over and head for the final destinations."
 
It's pretty vague, but it sounds like SUSIE might be a surface-to-station shuttle, with the station potentially resupplying it in orbit.

Tell me, what space station is currently in orbit that is able to refuel SUSIE with several tons of storable propellants?










Answer: None.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
I don't think they will use a refuelling station, they will do the same method as the Starship. 1 SUSIE Hab, 1-2 Susie Tanker.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
I don't think they will use a refuelling station, they will do the same method as the Starship. 1 SUSIE Hab, 1-2 Susie Tanker.

On a single launch pad infrastructure that supports - at best - six launches per year? That will be interesting.
« Last Edit: 09/21/2022 12:29 pm by woods170 »

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
The more details we get the more it sounds odd. European industry should refrain to put forward projects with such a low maturity.

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4370
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1321
  • Likes Given: 1146
I don't think they will use a refuelling station, they will do the same method as the Starship. 1 SUSIE Hab, 1-2 Susie Tanker.

On a single launch pad infrastructure that supports - at best - six launches per year? That will be interesting.

Guess they will need supplemental launch capacity near Kourou.

Since that deep space SUSIE stack (SUSIE, service module, starboard tankage module, portside tankage module & expendable tankers) needs at least the equivalent of about 5 Ariane 64 launches to bring up to LEO for assembly.

Alternately buying from someone a customized "deep space" propulsion & power unit that is located at LEO for SUSIE to docked with.

Of course the "deep space" SUSIE will only carry either cargo or crew with IDS docking port & consumables.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
It's true, but I think the service module is a part of the Spacecraft. Effectively that can be strange to launch the "Deep Space SUSIE" on an A64, same for the A64evo, but in the Ariane NEXT VH version, it's possible. Minimum 3 launches required to prepare it.

Online edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4756
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 6888
  • Likes Given: 36
The more details we get the more it sounds odd. European industry should refrain to put forward projects with such a low maturity.
Ariane 6 was a 'high maturity' design.
At some point you need to actually start developing something new, otherwise you stagnate.

Offline Exastro

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 130
  • USA
  • Liked: 107
  • Likes Given: 50
Effectively, if SUSIE is approved by minister's council, it will be in the same delays than Ariane NEXT. But I don't know if Ariane NEXT will be capable to launch a 25T spaceship. I have see on an Arianespace document the maximum payload will be about 20T.
SUSIE has some of its own propulsion, right? It could do the circularization burn.

Not if it also needs the same propulsion to do the deorbit burn AND land propulsively, all within a wet mass budget of max. 25 metric tons while having a crew cabin for 5 AND a 40 cubic meter payload bay with airlock for EVA AND other unpressurized cargo.

The projected capabilities and the wet mass don't match. That is UNLESS the vehicle, after reaching orbit, goes to a propellant depot first. Needless to say: a propellant depot was not mentioned during the ArianeGroup presentation.

"This vision of the future for Europe’s launchers is based on an in-depth study of possible future scenarios and the corresponding space missions... In the near future... it will be necessary to adopt a “networked” approach, similar to the current air transport “hubs”... launchers will serve LEO and a new orbit beyond the Van Allen Belts called a “parking orbit”. From these orbits, other spacecraft would take over and head for the final destinations."
 
It's pretty vague, but it sounds like SUSIE might be a surface-to-station shuttle, with the station potentially resupplying it in orbit.

Tell me, what space station is currently in orbit that is able to refuel SUSIE with several tons of storable propellants?

Answer: None.

If SUSIE starts flying in 2030, what LEO station could resupply it?  CLD should be up (without the ability to service SUSIE as currently conceived, but maybe that could change if there's a market for it).  Starship-class tankers should be plentiful, lofting a hundred tonnes of methalox prop per flight.  And if their flight rate gets high enough, they might easily lead to commercial depots in LEO as a system designed to avoid either expending upper stages or using a 120-tonne vehicle to push a 10-tonne satellite through GTO. 

Yes, it's speculative, a "vision of the future" in the words of the press release.
« Last Edit: 09/21/2022 10:21 pm by Exastro »

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
Yes, but if Susie is a concurrent of Space X, I don't think they will be ok to refuel it with the Starship. I think they will use a tank version to refuel the spacecraft, like the Starship.

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4370
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1321
  • Likes Given: 1146
Yes, but if Susie is a concurrent of Space X, I don't think they will be ok to refuel it with the Starship. I think they will use a tank version to refuel the spacecraft, like the Starship.
ESA using up several Ariane 64 equivalent launches to bring up propellants to LEO is a really expensive way of doing it along with lost opportunities to launch paying customers.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
If the ESA can launch missions to the Moon orbit, they will do it. And that will be cheaper than any SLS launch.  If they use their reusable Ariane NEXT versions,  the cost of a launch will be cheaper too.

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4370
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1321
  • Likes Given: 1146
If the ESA can launch missions to the Moon orbit, they will do it. And that will be cheaper than any SLS launch.  If they use their reusable Ariane NEXT versions,  the cost of a launch will be cheaper too.
Problem is that AIUI ESA can only pour about 20 solid rocket motors annually for use either as Ariane 6 strapped on booster or Vega 1st stage at Kourou. Don't think the Ariane Next will be in service before SUSIE.

Offline BZHSpace

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 204
  • France
  • Liked: 66
  • Likes Given: 117
I honnestly think SUSIE can help Arianespace and other ESA partners to switch from Ariane 6 paradigm to a more reusable version and I like the reference to it in the presentation. If Arianespace want to be successful in the next decade they have to switch rapidly to the reusable paradigm. It's quite interesting that they use an architecture closed to Avio's Space Rider as a design base to SUSIE.

The main difficulties are the ESA managment and its polical complexity, and IMO my main critic is that the second stage isn't integrated to the spacecraft as Terran-R or Starship.
Space will be ours soon.

Offline GWR64

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1444
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1219
  • Likes Given: 779
For Arianespace to be successful and for Europe to have independent access to space, Ariane 6 must first fly.
This powerpoint presentation is probably for the ESA Ministerial Council 2022, as a distraction.
There will be many uncomfortable questions to Arianegroup.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
I think Ariane NEXT and Susie will be ready in the same time. Their development phase are coinciding with the other. But if it's true, why have they show us SUSIE launch on A6?

Offline punder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1144
  • Liked: 1658
  • Likes Given: 1305
Just read five pages of very knowledgeable people saying the numbers don’t add up for this concept, apparently by a long shot. Which begs the question, *why* would Ariane publicize this thing when knowledgeable observers can see it can’t work?

Naïve question, I guess. “We fooled ourselves into getting a decade (or two) behind the American upstart that is preparing AGAIN to kick our butt six ways from Sunday. What can we do to avoid bad publicity before the unwashed masses? Ah, yessss… a diversion.”

Offline libra

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1820
  • Liked: 1201
  • Likes Given: 2359
Just read five pages of very knowledgeable people saying the numbers don’t add up for this concept, apparently by a long shot. Which begs the question, *why* would Ariane publicize this thing when knowledgeable observers can see it can’t work?

Naïve question, I guess. “We fooled ourselves into getting a decade (or two) behind the American upstart that is preparing AGAIN to kick our butt six ways from Sunday. What can we do to avoid bad publicity before the unwashed masses? Ah, yessss… a diversion.”

Ok, so you think Arianespace is dumb enough to be lectured by an internet space forum (even the best of the best).

You may note my post was conveniently ignored. I was trying to make sense of the whole thing - but it is much easier to dismiss it as "some B.S P.R effort compared to precious SpaceX" (this forum rampant illness, alas)

Shameless auto-quoting and re-posting

Not easy to grasp this concept inner workings. Here is my own take

- Present Ariane 6 is boosters + Vulcain core + hydrolox second stage: VINCI. And so SUSIE would go on top of that as a versatile upper stage (third or fourth stage, depends if you count the boosters as a "stage 0").

- I remember that Ariane 5 is kind of similar: boosters (big ones) with a Vulcain core stage. But the hydrolox stage (HM-7) could be either deleted (for LEO missions like Envisat or ATV) or replaced by an Aestus.

- sooo : can Ariane 6 fly without that hydrolox second stage, VINCI ? and then SUSIE would fly like an Aestus or an ATV, top of the core;  with some internal propulsive capability but not too much.

- Next step would be to replace the main core and its boosters with something akin to a F9R booster (MAIA, is that thou ?) , with a much stretched and heavier SUSIE on top; and boom, fully reusable TSTO.

- Still I doesn't find that path very convincing, there are some performances gaps here and there...

It looks like a slightly chaotic path toward a Falcon 9 -size BFR-Starship system.

- I suppose SUSIE propulsion system is storables ?   the closest thing from it in Ariane / ESA / CNES history then would be Aestus and ATV (and de facto: Orion propulsion module as it loosely derives from ATV)

Yeah feels like an atempt at creating some kind of hybrid of ATV, Aestus, and Hermes.

Or growing a reusable Ariane from the top, with Maia doing the same... from the bottom. So these two would eventually join by the middle and result in a reusable TSTO akin to Blue Origin's ? Project Jarvis ?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Origin#Project_Jarvis

Yeah, that's an interesting question. Is SUSIE Arianespace atempt at a Project Jarvis, related to Maia ?
« Last Edit: 09/25/2022 06:21 am by libra »

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
How about this.

Arianspace builds Ariane launchers (but don't design them. That's done by ESA sub-contracting to CNES, as it has been for all the previous generations of Ariane)

Ariane Group wants a bigger piece of the ESA budget and SUSIE is the way to get it.

This is an upper stage the way the liquid fuelled S3 on Vega, or the liquid fuelled S4 on Pegasus is an upper stage, not an upper stage like Centaur or the A5 LH2/LO2 stage IE something that adds 1000s of m/s to a payload.

It's more like a reusable payload carrier, like a reusable ATV. Perhaps being able to get to the Moon and support the Lunar Gateway, which might  be needed given how much cash Orion has sucked down over the decades of its construction.  :(
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
I totally agree with libra, they will use their know-how and expertise. This is totally like the Blue Origin's Project Jarvis, even if New Glenn will be a little powerfull than A-Next and A6. 

Offline Michel Van

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 282
  • Liege, Belgium
  • Liked: 124
  • Likes Given: 134
The biggest problem SUSIE face it's concept not real ESA Program
and to become one it has to past the conservative Council of Europan minister of Science.
a bunch, how i put it polite "Don't care" about European Manned Spacecraft,
Since ESA get cheap seats NASA, SpaceX and Russia.
(Russian service is currently not available)

Offline punder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1144
  • Liked: 1658
  • Likes Given: 1305
Ok, so you think Arianespace is dumb enough to be lectured by an internet space forum (even the best of the best).

You may note my post was conveniently ignored. I was trying to make sense of the whole thing - but it is much easier to dismiss it as "some B.S P.R effort compared to precious SpaceX" (this forum rampant illness, alas)
Yes, I was being a bit snarky, and now to double down: It’s not purely a PR exercise; it’s also a way to finagle funding, from the hard-pressed European taxpayers, for studies, and more studies, for as long as possible, before the inevitable occurs.

I may be wrong—it’s a hard habit to break—but just because you find something like this fun to analyze (perfectly understandable), I, chastened by past disappointments and sad lessons in how the world works, choose to look at the probabilities. If Europe had a long history of developing and flying crew spacecraft, I’d adjust my expectations. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Offline Oli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2459
  • Liked: 594
  • Likes Given: 60
Yeah, that's an interesting question. Is SUSIE Arianespace atempt at a Project Jarvis, related to Maia ?

I guess SUSIE could be large enough to serve as a reusable upper stage for Maia but they don't show that configuration anywhere.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
Ok, so you think Arianespace is dumb enough to be lectured by an internet space forum (even the best of the best).

You may note my post was conveniently ignored. I was trying to make sense of the whole thing - but it is much easier to dismiss it as "some B.S P.R effort compared to precious SpaceX" (this forum rampant illness, alas)
Yes, I was being a bit snarky, and now to double down: It’s not purely a PR exercise; it’s also a way to finagle funding, from the hard-pressed European taxpayers, for studies, and more studies, for as long as possible, before the inevitable occurs.

I may be wrong—it’s a hard habit to break—but just because you find something like this fun to analyze (perfectly understandable), I, chastened by past disappointments and sad lessons in how the world works, choose to look at the probabilities. If Europe had a long history of developing and flying crew spacecraft, I’d adjust my expectations. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Emphasis mine.

And that is putting it mildly IMO.

Europe has a very long history of doing studies with regards to new spacecraft. But actually developing and building them happens only rarely.

Online edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4756
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 6888
  • Likes Given: 36
If you read "reusable upper stage" as being a kick-stage rather than a second stage, it makes a lot more sense. You get the kick stage (and associated avionics) back, along with the 'fairing'. And potentially the satellite bus and payload, for short duration missions. May also have sufficient delta-V for a capture-and-return mission for some orbits.

Re-use of the first stage is more a matter of willingness to assign the budget to develop and build it rather than a technological question. Re-use of capsules, likewise.
Re-use of a second stage is still more of a technical question. A capsule-come-kick-stage is an interesting way to sidestep that by turning the second stage into a throwaway 'dumb booster' (tanks, a single engine, no need to handle trajectory or payload deployment itself).

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
And that is putting it mildly IMO.

Europe has a very long history of doing studies with regards to new spacecraft. But actually developing and building them happens only rarely.
Interestinlgly it's the Germans who IIRC are most keen to have a human spaceflight capability, over and above an ESA astronaut corp.

Of course if Ariane Group wanted to go for a really advanced vehicle concept, that could last well into the 22nd century.....  ;)
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
Yes they can use a kick stage, what about ASTRIS? It will be ready for 2025, they can put it on SUSIE. But to circularize a potential TLO... Is ASTRIS have the power to do it? No. 25T of Susie and 2x20-25T of tanks, never. It need a more powerful engine... Like a Vinci, or a Vaccum Prometheus.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
After thinking, 2-3 smaller engines is a more likely option. The architecture is more flexible than one single engine, even though they refuel an UPLM in LEO.

Offline gosnold

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 568
  • Liked: 235
  • Likes Given: 2027
Commissionner Breton is not enthused by SUSIE:

Quote
THIERRY BRETON-The Susie program is very interesting. It is a project that offers an opening for the next decade. We will look at it with great interest because it is indeed a major subject. However, it is very important in the field of space - especially in the geopolitical moment in which we find ourselves - to target our priorities well, but also to have a medium- and long-term vision, in which manned spaceflight is obviously part. The short-term priorities are to ensure European programs and projects, which are linked to our sovereignty and autonomy in the various segments perfectly identified in the framework of the strategic compass

Quote
THIERRY BRETON-Le programme Susie est très intéressant. C'est un projet qui offre une ouverture pour la prochaine décennie. Nous allons le regarder avec beaucoup d'intérêt parce qu'effectivement c'est un sujet majeur. Toutefois, il est très important en matière d'espace - surtout dans le moment géopolitique où nous nous trouvons - de bien cibler nos priorités mais aussi d'avoir une vision de moyen et long terme dans lequel s'inscrivent évidemment les vols habités. Les priorités de court terme sont d'assurer les programmes et projets européens, qui sont liés à notre souveraineté et à notre autonomie dans les différents segments parfaitement identifiés dans le cadre de la boussole stratégique.

https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/spatial-la-cooperation-avec-la-russie-est-definitivement-bannie-thierry-breton-934100.html

Offline punder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1144
  • Liked: 1658
  • Likes Given: 1305
And that is putting it mildly IMO.

Europe has a very long history of doing studies with regards to new spacecraft. But actually developing and building them happens only rarely.

Mildly, yes. Realized I’ve become a bit of a jerk lately so trying to tone it down. Cranky old man.

Back to the topic at hand, Europe obviously has the talent and money to do crewed spaceflight, but lacks the political cohesion to make it happen. There are too many powerful competing interests and too many actors who can veto a project simply by not lending their full backing. As illustrated nicely by gosnold’s post.

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
Yes, but the big problem in Europe at the moment is the France/Germany cooperations... Within ArianeGroup, they haven't this problem, they must not be influenced by the ESA if the agency have this problem...

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
And that is putting it mildly IMO.

Europe has a very long history of doing studies with regards to new spacecraft. But actually developing and building them happens only rarely.

Interestinlgly it's the Germans who IIRC are most keen to have a human spaceflight capability, over and above an ESA astronautcorp.

Emphasis mine.

That has not always been the case. The last major push to do a European crew launch vehicle was Hermes. The Germans were at the time very reluctant to get into the Hermes program. It took France and ESA a lot of prodding and enticing to get the Germans to commit to Hermes.
And when the Iron Curtain fell and the two Germanies were to be reunited, the Germans stepped out of the Hermes program. They could no longer afford to take part, given the huge investments required by the unification efforts.

Everything after Hermes is just German industry trying to convince ESA to do crewed spaceflight. But their efforts are no bigger than similar efforts from French industry over the years.

Offline AstroWare

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 277
  • Arizona
  • Liked: 207
  • Likes Given: 0
Can someone explain why Europe is going to try for vertical propulsive landing instead of for 'Hermes' type glider? Seems that for your first crew vehicle a Capsule or Glider would be have lower risk, lower cost, faster development...

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1410
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 538
  • Likes Given: 205
Europe isn't tying anything. Arianegroup made a proposal so they can waist billions of taxpayer money.

Offline AstroWare

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 277
  • Arizona
  • Liked: 207
  • Likes Given: 0
Europe isn't tying anything. Arianegroup made a proposal so they can waist billions of taxpayer money.
Apologies. Arainegroup. Question still stands...

Monetary waistlines aside... ;) Lol

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8354
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 2531
  • Likes Given: 8055
Europe isn't tying anything. Arianegroup made a proposal so they can waist billions of taxpayer money.
Apologies. Arainegroup. Question still stands...

Monetary waistlines aside... ;) Lol
If you say Europe, you mean a political will (and thus the required budgets). If you talk about Ariane's proposal, that's just a company asking for a lot of money. Talk is cheap, but if actual money is invested, then you have an actual decision. A huge government contractor asking for billions to develops "the next big thing" is just another Thursday.

Offline AstroWare

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 277
  • Arizona
  • Liked: 207
  • Likes Given: 0
Europe isn't tying anything. Arianegroup made a proposal so they can waist billions of taxpayer money.
Apologies. Arainegroup. Question still stands...

Monetary waistlines aside... ;) Lol
If you say Europe, you mean a political will (and thus the required budgets). If you talk about Ariane's proposal, that's just a company asking for a lot of money. Talk is cheap, but if actual money is invested, then you have an actual decision. A huge government contractor asking for billions to develops "the next big thing" is just another Thursday.
The question is neither. Please forgive this engineer... I'm asking technically - why would this proposal suggest* to develop a vertical landing crew vehicle for Europe's** first crewed vehicle?

I get that Arainegroup proposed the idea, and I get they would expect to be paid to develop the concept. But just saying, "to get money to develop it" isn't a good reason to explain why vertical landing. They could have proposed any number of landing methods and expected to get paid!

*Got it - it's just a proposal. Not finalized or approved. Not the point
**Got it - this needs politics to get approved, not the point.

Online edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4756
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 6888
  • Likes Given: 36
Europe isn't tying anything. Arianegroup made a proposal so they can waist billions of taxpayer money.
Apologies. Arainegroup. Question still stands...

Monetary waistlines aside... ;) Lol
If you say Europe, you mean a political will (and thus the required budgets). If you talk about Ariane's proposal, that's just a company asking for a lot of money. Talk is cheap, but if actual money is invested, then you have an actual decision. A huge government contractor asking for billions to develops "the next big thing" is just another Thursday.
The question is neither. Please forgive this engineer... I'm asking technically - why would this proposal suggest* to develop a vertical landing crew vehicle for Europe's** first crewed vehicle?
If propellant for a vertical landing has less mass than the wings needed for sufficient lift for a horizontal landing, it trades better. Particularly if you intend to already mount the needed engines for in-orbit use.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1410
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 538
  • Likes Given: 205
I think Arianegroup made the SUSIE concept for a Ariane 6 follow-on evolution vision. That vision is shown in this video from Arianegroup.


I think the idea behind SUSIE is that it should stand out from other vehicles.
The norm is parachute or airfoil landing. Propulsive landing enables landing on other planetary bodies (Moon/ Mars/ Venus). I think scientific payloads are the main purpose for SUSIE. Propulsive landing with humans is very risky.

The shape of SUSIE is as close as possible to the payload fairing. They use the aerodynamic flaps tested with IXV for aerodynamic control.

Afaik in Europe, no free flight rocket propelled flight test has occured. The Callisto demonstrator might be the vehicle to achieve this. This is a part of what I call learn to walk.
I think its at least half a decade to early to consider developing a system like SUSIE.

Somehow Arianegroup and European industry are over a year behind with getting Ariane6 operational  I haven't read a propper reason for the delay that was funded with >€4billion tax money.
In development are: Ariane 6, ASTRIS kick-stage, Icarus, P120+/P160, EL3 (lunar lander), Space Rider, Callisto, Themis ....
SUSIE is an addition to this already very long list. I think Arianegroup is at least half a decade to early with the SUSIE concept.

Arianegroup should focus on getting Ariane 6 operational (with Astris). Next a lander for lunar an martian science.

!!! Because of Arianegroups fuck-up (Ariane6 development); European independent access to space is japerdized.
Arianegroup get your act together, and deliver what you promised. Possibly after that it's time to consider other developments.

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8354
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 2531
  • Likes Given: 8055
Some people thought that 2020's Ariane 6 was too little too late. 2023 is too little really late. But compare that to the four solids proposal that CNES was pushing, and ArianeGroup got their act together saving the whole Ariane program from the French unexplainable love for solids. Now, they should have been at least four years into an F9 like reusable launcher, and they are just proposing Maïa. So again very late.
With SUSIE they finally are trying to match Starship recoverable upper stage AND getting a crewed spaceship (again, quite like a mini Starship concept) and we say they are too early. I personally think they are trying to fish for study money, but have to give them props for actually trying to actually think how to get ahead of the competition instead of replicating last decade systems.

Offline Asteroza

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2234
  • Liked: 791
  • Likes Given: 29
Some people thought that 2020's Ariane 6 was too little too late. 2023 is too little really late. But compare that to the four solids proposal that CNES was pushing, and ArianeGroup got their act together saving the whole Ariane program from the French unexplainable love for solids. Now, they should have been at least four years into an F9 like reusable launcher, and they are just proposing Maïa. So again very late.
With SUSIE they finally are trying to match Starship recoverable upper stage AND getting a crewed spaceship (again, quite like a mini Starship concept) and we say they are too early. I personally think they are trying to fish for study money, but have to give them props for actually trying to actually think how to get ahead of the competition instead of replicating last decade systems.

The french wanted continuing large scale solid use to exercise their SLBM military industrial base. People sometimes forget France is a nuclear power operating missile submarines. Ariane 5 P80 solids share some commonality with France's currently deployed M51 SLBM's. Of note, the new wider P120 solids for Ariane 6 and Vega probably won't fit in the missile tubes of the french SNLE 3G SSBN submarine that will start construction soon.

Offline volker2020

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 270
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Liked: 286
  • Likes Given: 691
I personally see another reason for this. Say it frankly Ariane 6 is a launcher without payload. Even though it is cheaper than Ariane 5, the advances in reusable rockets make it obsolete for commercial missions. This is a rocket, destined to be retired soon after the start of the program.

To keep it alive they need a reason, and human space flight with a sexy space craft might work to make a flag ship program, that will keep running even though it is economically unsound.

Europe want independent access to space. That is a political goal. But if they do, they have either carry the high cost of using an commercially obsolete system, create a commercially viable system or buy one.

I for one, would start to get into discussions with SpaceX to buy a launch tower and 6 Starships.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
I personally see another reason for this. Say it frankly Ariane 6 is a launcher without payload. Even though it is cheaper than Ariane 5, the advances in reusable rockets make it obsolete for commercial missions. This is a rocket, destined to be retired soon after the start of the program.

To keep it alive they need a reason, and human space flight with a sexy space craft might work to make a flag ship program, that will keep running even though it is economically unsound.

Europe want independent access to space. That is a political goal. But if they do, they have either carry the high cost of using an commercially obsolete system, create a commercially viable system or buy one.

I for one, would start to get into discussions with SpaceX to buy a launch tower and 6 Starships.

Emphasis mine.

These two things are mutually exclusive. "Independent access to space" is defined, at the political level, as an all-European system to provide access to space. Which is what Ariane and Vega have been, and still are, all about.

"Buying one" does not accomplish that. Particularly not when you buy it from a non-European company like SpaceX.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
Some people thought that 2020's Ariane 6 was too little too late. 2023 is too little really late. But compare that to the four solids proposal that CNES was pushing, and ArianeGroup got their act together saving the whole Ariane program from the French unexplainable love for solids. Now, they should have been at least four years into an F9 like reusable launcher, and they are just proposing Maïa. So again very late.
With SUSIE they finally are trying to match Starship recoverable upper stage AND getting a crewed spaceship (again, quite like a mini Starship concept) and we say they are too early. I personally think they are trying to fish for study money, but have to give them props for actually trying to actually think how to get ahead of the competition instead of replicating last decade systems.

ArianeGroup is to be commended for thinking out of the box on this one. But they are to be reprimanded for making the same mistake that their predecessors made with Hermes: not having their key figures (such as mass, performance, etc.) lined up along the slide ruler of reality.
« Last Edit: 09/28/2022 03:58 pm by woods170 »

Online Hobbes-22

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 849
  • Acme Engineering
    • Acme Engineering
  • Liked: 478
  • Likes Given: 406
The french wanted continuing large scale solid use to exercise their SLBM military industrial base. People sometimes forget France is a nuclear power operating missile submarines. Ariane 5 P80 solids share some commonality with France's currently deployed M51 SLBM's. Of note, the new wider P120 solids for Ariane 6 and Vega probably won't fit in the missile tubes of the french SNLE 3G SSBN submarine that will start construction soon.

The P120 solids are produced in Italy, I don't see the French subcontracting out their SLBM production to Avio.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
I for one, would start to get into discussions with SpaceX to buy a launch tower and 6 Starships.

Unfortunately that's unlikely to work due to US ITAR laws, although as of right now SX is in pole position to deliver a fully reusable launch system, which is pretty much what you need to turn space access into a product, not a ticket.  :(

In my ideal world French TPS combines with German cryogenics, British engine technology (with the turbo pumps from france or Belgium perhaps) and European Investment Bank funding to launch the world's most advanced RLV out of Kourou with an Italian build reusable stage 2 for GTO and eventually an Italian/German astronaut carrier (50% of the ISS was not built in either the US or Russia, but in Turin). 

But more advanced than it's technology is it's business model.

Because if you want you can buy your own one of these, book a runway slot and launch what you want, when you want it. *

You can't use it on Mars, but it would revolutionise space access on Earth.

Of course since it doesn't sit on top of an expendable rocket Ariane Group are unlikely to go anywhere near it.  :(

But if people are talking about an actual compelling vision for future space access I'd say that would be it.

*If a Kourou runway slot is 2 hrs long and they only allow launch during week days with an 8 hour work day 48 weeks of the year that's 960 slots. Things will have to get quite busy before people have to wait their turn.
« Last Edit: 09/29/2022 11:51 am by john smith 19 »
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline TheRadicalModerate

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3115
  • Tampa, FL
  • Liked: 2291
  • Likes Given: 449
Has anybody done the computation on whether a refueled Ariane 6 upper stage could take a SUSIE to NRHO, and whether the SUSIE could generate the 550ish m/s needed to get back to EDL?

It might be a pretty interesting Gateway resupply (or crew transfer) platform if the numbers work out.  But it does require upper stage refueling.
« Last Edit: 09/29/2022 04:21 am by TheRadicalModerate »

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
With SUSIE they finally are trying to match Starship recoverable upper stage AND getting a crewed spaceship (again, quite like a mini Starship concept) and we say they are too early. I personally think they are trying to fish for study money, but have to give them props for actually trying to actually think how to get ahead of the competition instead of replicating last decade systems.
This really is nothing like StarShip. It's an "upper stage" in the sense of Buran, X37b, the Pegasus XL 4th stage or the Vega liquid fuelled stage or RL Photon.

Of these it most resembles Buran, or the X37b human carrying upgrade (there is an AiAA paper). Good for at most a few 100 m/s of delat V, but not a substantial contribution to orbit.
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline TheRadicalModerate

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3115
  • Tampa, FL
  • Liked: 2291
  • Likes Given: 449
If SUSIE is really going to be 25t wet, then we ought to be able to estimate the amount of prop it has to carry if we can roughly compute the total delta-v that an A64 needs to expend to get its current 21.5t payload to LEO.

But we have to be able to do the A64 numbers in some amount of detail.  Does anybody have a good roll-up of the most recent estimates for various Ariane 6 components?  (There are Wikipedia numbers, but I suspect that they're stale):

P120C
Prop Mass:
Dry Mass:
Thrust SL:
Isp SL:

P120C+
Prop Mass:
Dry Mass:

LLPM
Prop Mass:
Dry Mass:

Vulcain 2.1
Thrust SL:
Thrust Vac:
Isp SL:
Isp Vac:
Mixture:

ULPM
Prop Mass:
Dry Mass:

Vinci
Thrust Vac:
Isp Vac:
Mixture:

PHOEBUS/Icarus info would be nice, too.

It's possible that they're really planning SUSIE for an A64 with the P120C+ and Icarus, which may be able to take 25t to LEO all by itself.  If that's the case, then SUSIE may just be a fairly robust capsule, with only enough prop to do deployment maneuvers or an RPOD, de-orbit, and a propulsive landing.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1410
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 538
  • Likes Given: 205
Sorry, I don't see the use of doing calculations with estimated numbers at best.
The aerospace engineers at Arianegoup have their schedule full with.
- getting Ariane 6 operational
- Astris development and getting into operation.
- Icarus (Light weight A6 ULPM) development and getting into operation.
- developing and operating EL3 (Lunar lander)
- developing a lander for the Rosalin Franklin (ExoMars) rover.
- developing and serial production of the nozzle for P120C+/P160
- developing and testing Prometheus.
Etz. There aren' t manhours available to develop SUZIE. At most a phase A/B1 study, but more is for the 2025 ESA ministerial.

With the P120C production, Avio in Italy makes the casings. Nammo from Norway make the igniters. The grain is cast and the motor is assembled in France Guiana. Arianegroup has a production line in France for the nozzles for P120c.
The initial plan was that the casings would be produced by Avio (Italy) and OHB (Germany). The companies involved in the fabrication of EAP (Ariane 5 booster) casings.
 To streamline production and benefits from (serial) production scale. OHB didn't set up a P120c casing production line.
The funds from the German government went into the development of Icarus, light weight ULPM with composite tanks.

AFAIK the first stage of the M51 is similar in size as the Zefiro40 (Vega C second stage).
I do not at all like Themis, with three ~1MN engines. I think a reusable stage with 7 to 9 500-600kN (Avio M60) engines would be a better replacement for P120C(+).
For Themis they should stay smaller than Zefiro40. Use one of the european micro-launcher first stages. With engines less powerfully then Vince. And plan for loss of vehicle.

I think SUSIE could become a reusable 2th stage when powered by multiple M10 or M60 engines. The down side of a reusable upperstage is that the system mass directly trades with payload mass.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2022 11:16 am by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8354
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 2531
  • Likes Given: 8055
If they never start to work on this, at least in a serious way, they will again go about doing a thousand studies about "how to copy SpaceX without it being too obvious". The Californian company will have done trades on Starship for ten years by the time they start work on something similar. Of course they will have to copy if they don't put years of effort on designing, testing, redesigning, etc. As much as I think SUSIE as proposed is a bad design, with imaginary numbers of margin, it is their design. I would rather have Europe think out their own solution for a reusable upperstage/spaceship to get something different.
Not unlike how RocketLab designed Neutron: a one for one competitor with F9 with absolutely different technological solutions in every possible way. Europe needs to do something like that. So I think SUSIE is a good place to start the thinking. But for God's sake, don't try to deliver as presented.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
If they never start to work on this, at least in a serious way, they will again go about doing a thousand studies about "how to copy SpaceX without it being too obvious". The Californian company will have done trades on Starship for ten years by the time they start work on something similar. Of course they will have to copy if they don't put years of effort on designing, testing, redesigning, etc. As much as I think SUSIE as proposed is a bad design, with imaginary numbers of margin, it is their design. I would rather have Europe think out their own solution for a reusable upperstage/spaceship to get something different.
Not unlike how RocketLab designed Neutron: a one for one competitor with F9 with absolutely different technological solutions in every possible way. Europe needs to do something like that. So I think SUSIE is a good place to start the thinking. But for God's sake, don't try to deliver as presented.
Not even that. It's basically Hermes V2.0 with vertical landing. And it's not a stage, in the sense that StarShip is a stage. It's more like Dragon. 

"Europe" has done something like ask. A competitve design that is nothing like F9.

In fact CNES did such a study.

But it uses HTOL, and has wings.  :(
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline libra

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1820
  • Liked: 1201
  • Likes Given: 2359
I would dare to suggest that "P120" by name means "120 tons of solid fuel" - that's how the french have named their rocket stages since 1960 at least.
"H" stands for "Hydrogen"
"P" for "poudre" - closest english word is "powder" but "solid fuel" is a far better translation
"L" for "liquid" - as in storable / hypergolics (little love for kerolox on the french side).
And the number is for the propellant mass.

"L17" was for Diamant, 17 tons of storables. "L140" was Ariane similar but much bigger stage. Rinse, repeat.

From "P120" a wild guess could be made related to specific impulse and mass fraction, for example 290 seconds and 0.95 but I can understand "official" numbers are much preferable than wild guesses...
« Last Edit: 10/02/2022 10:08 am by libra »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1410
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 538
  • Likes Given: 205
If they never start to work on this, at least in a serious way, they will again go about doing a thousand studies about "how to copy SpaceX without it being too obvious". The Californian company will have done trades on Starship for ten years by the time they start work on something similar. Of course they will have to copy if they don't put years of effort on designing, testing, redesigning, etc. As much as I think SUSIE as proposed is a bad design, with imaginary numbers of margin, it is their design. I would rather have Europe think out their own solution for a reusable upperstage/spaceship to get something different.
Not unlike how RocketLab designed Neutron: a one for one competitor with F9 with absolutely different technological solutions in every possible way. Europe needs to do something like that. So I think SUSIE is a good place to start the thinking. But for God's sake, don't try to deliver as presented.

Does Europe have to develop a reusable launcher, or is Ariane 6 fine for the launch demand Europe has.
In Europe politicians are destroying their own economy for Environmental misconceptions. There are more than a 1000 more important things to develop than reusable rockets. Engines can't be tested because of the environmental misconceptions. A lot of testing has to take place, to figure out what reuse method works best. Smaller systems use less fuel and 'pollute' less. So they should test on smaller vehicles.
So beter do a test of a 50% scale SUSIE on Vega C/D/E than on Ariane 6, or on a even smaller vehicle.

I don't want promotion of piss pore performance on the development of Ariane 6; by awarding follow on development contracts before Ariane 6 is operational. Arianegroup should deliver what they promise otherwise as they did with Ariane 6 development, they destroy the whole European launch industry.
I think the real reason for Ariane 6 development delays haven't be published, because the company at fold will be held accountable for 1.5years without production demand on all dedicated Ariane 6 production assets. That will be a huge claim. 

Online Hobbes-22

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 849
  • Acme Engineering
    • Acme Engineering
  • Liked: 478
  • Likes Given: 406
I would dare to suggest that "P120" by name means "120 tons of solid fuel" - that's how the french have named their rocket stages since 1960 at least.
"H" stands for "Hydrogen"
"P" for "poudre" - closest english word is "powder" but "solid fuel" is a far better translation
"L" for "liquid" - as in storable / hypergolics (little love for kerolox on the french side).
And the number is for the propellant mass.

"L17" was for Diamant, 17 tons of storables. "L140" was Ariane similar but much bigger stage. Rinse, repeat.

From "P120" a wild guess could be made related to specific impulse and mass fraction, for example 290 seconds and 0.95 but I can understand "official" numbers are much preferable than wild guesses...

That's usually correct, but the P120 is an exception.
For Vega C, the propellant mass of a P120 is 143.6 tons. Empty mass is 11t.

P120+ has a propellant mass of 157.6t.

Offline libra

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1820
  • Liked: 1201
  • Likes Given: 2359
Ah. There goes the logic. As per F-35...

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
Does Europe have to develop a reusable launcher, or is Ariane 6 fine for the launch demand Europe has.
In Europe politicians are destroying their own economy for Environmental misconceptions. There are more than a 1000 more important things to develop than reusable rockets. Engines can't be tested because of the environmental misconceptions. A lot of testing has to take place, to figure out what reuse method works best. Smaller systems use less fuel and 'pollute' less. So they should test on smaller vehicles.
So beter do a test of a 50% scale SUSIE on Vega C/D/E than on Ariane 6, or on a even smaller vehicle.

I don't want promotion of piss pore performance on the development of Ariane 6; by awarding follow on development contracts before Ariane 6 is operational. Arianegroup should deliver what they promise otherwise as they did with Ariane 6 development, they destroy the whole European launch industry.
I think the real reason for Ariane 6 development delays haven't be published, because the company at fold will be held accountable for 1.5years without production demand on all dedicated Ariane 6 production assets. That will be a huge claim.
Yes Ariane Group is fast turning into Boeing with Starliner (which this also resembles in the "stage" sense). They took 2 goes to finally get to safetly dock with ISS and are no longer viewed as the "safe pair of hands" (at least they shouldn't be, given their poor execution, large cash payout and walking away from the XS-1 contract  :(  )
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline TrevorMonty

If they never start to work on this, at least in a serious way, they will again go about doing a thousand studies about "how to copy SpaceX without it being too obvious". The Californian company will have done trades on Starship for ten years by the time they start work on something similar. Of course they will have to copy if they don't put years of effort on designing, testing, redesigning, etc. As much as I think SUSIE as proposed is a bad design, with imaginary numbers of margin, it is their design. I would rather have Europe think out their own solution for a reusable upperstage/spaceship to get something different.
Not unlike how RocketLab designed Neutron: a one for one competitor with F9 with absolutely different technological solutions in every possible way. Europe needs to do something like that. So I think SUSIE is a good place to start the thinking. But for God's sake, don't try to deliver as presented.

Does Europe have to develop a reusable launcher, or is Ariane 6 fine for the launch demand Europe has.
In Europe politicians are destroying their own economy for Environmental misconceptions. There are more than a 1000 more important things to develop than reusable rockets. Engines can't be tested because of the environmental misconceptions. A lot of testing has to take place, to figure out what reuse method works best. Smaller systems use less fuel and 'pollute' less. So they should test on smaller vehicles.
So beter do a test of a 50% scale SUSIE on Vega C/D/E than on Ariane 6, or on a even smaller vehicle.

I don't want promotion of piss pore performance on the development of Ariane 6; by awarding follow on development contracts before Ariane 6 is operational. Arianegroup should deliver what they promise otherwise as they did with Ariane 6 development, they destroy the whole European launch industry.
I think the real reason for Ariane 6 development delays haven't be published, because the company at fold will be held accountable for 1.5years without production demand on all dedicated Ariane 6 production assets. That will be a huge claim.
Far as I know A6 development is going to plan. The schedule slips are no more than usual for new LV, COVID hasn't helped. The delays are nothing like SLS. Compared to Vulcan they aren't doing to badly.

The $4.4B development cost does seem very high given competition are doing it for lot less. F9R V1.2 would be around $1B. Vulcan is likely to be $1-2B. Terran R <$1B and it is a F9R class LV.

Smaller LVs like Neutron and Beta <$500M.
With addition of  NGIS SRMs Beta could also compete in GEO satellite launch market.

Offline GWR64

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1444
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1219
  • Likes Given: 779
If they never start to work on this, at least in a serious way, they will again go about doing a thousand studies about "how to copy SpaceX without it being too obvious". The Californian company will have done trades on Starship for ten years by the time they start work on something similar. Of course they will have to copy if they don't put years of effort on designing, testing, redesigning, etc. As much as I think SUSIE as proposed is a bad design, with imaginary numbers of margin, it is their design. I would rather have Europe think out their own solution for a reusable upperstage/spaceship to get something different.
Not unlike how RocketLab designed Neutron: a one for one competitor with F9 with absolutely different technological solutions in every possible way. Europe needs to do something like that. So I think SUSIE is a good place to start the thinking. But for God's sake, don't try to deliver as presented.

Does Europe have to develop a reusable launcher, or is Ariane 6 fine for the launch demand Europe has.
In Europe politicians are destroying their own economy for Environmental misconceptions. There are more than a 1000 more important things to develop than reusable rockets. Engines can't be tested because of the environmental misconceptions. A lot of testing has to take place, to figure out what reuse method works best. Smaller systems use less fuel and 'pollute' less. So they should test on smaller vehicles.
So beter do a test of a 50% scale SUSIE on Vega C/D/E than on Ariane 6, or on a even smaller vehicle.

I don't want promotion of piss pore performance on the development of Ariane 6; by awarding follow on development contracts before Ariane 6 is operational. Arianegroup should deliver what they promise otherwise as they did with Ariane 6 development, they destroy the whole European launch industry.
I think the real reason for Ariane 6 development delays haven't be published, because the company at fold will be held accountable for 1.5years without production demand on all dedicated Ariane 6 production assets. That will be a huge claim.
Far as I know A6 development is going to plan. The schedule slips are no more than usual for new LV, COVID hasn't helped. The delays are nothing like SLS. Compared to Vulcan they aren't doing to badly.

The $4.4B development cost does seem very high given competition are doing it for lot less. F9R V1.2 would be around $1B. Vulcan is likely to be $1-2B. Terran R <$1B and it is a F9R class LV.

Smaller LVs like Neutron and Beta <$500M.
With addition of  NGIS SRMs Beta could also compete in GEO satellite launch market.

So, when will Ariane 6 launch for the first time? So far, ESA is been hesitant to announce the date.
That looks more like the second half of 2023.
https://twitter.com/AllPlanets/status/1571473556805910529
And when is the first operational launch?

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8354
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 2531
  • Likes Given: 8055
Ah. There goes the logic. As per F-35...
It wouldn't be French if it didn't had an exception to the rule.  ;D

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8354
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 2531
  • Likes Given: 8055
If they never start to work on this, at least in a serious way, they will again go about doing a thousand studies about "how to copy SpaceX without it being too obvious". The Californian company will have done trades on Starship for ten years by the time they start work on something similar. Of course they will have to copy if they don't put years of effort on designing, testing, redesigning, etc. As much as I think SUSIE as proposed is a bad design, with imaginary numbers of margin, it is their design. I would rather have Europe think out their own solution for a reusable upperstage/spaceship to get something different.
Not unlike how RocketLab designed Neutron: a one for one competitor with F9 with absolutely different technological solutions in every possible way. Europe needs to do something like that. So I think SUSIE is a good place to start the thinking. But for God's sake, don't try to deliver as presented.

Does Europe have to develop a reusable launcher, or is Ariane 6 fine for the launch demand Europe has.
In Europe politicians are destroying their own economy for Environmental misconceptions. There are more than a 1000 more important things to develop than reusable rockets. Engines can't be tested because of the environmental misconceptions. A lot of testing has to take place, to figure out what reuse method works best. Smaller systems use less fuel and 'pollute' less. So they should test on smaller vehicles.
So beter do a test of a 50% scale SUSIE on Vega C/D/E than on Ariane 6, or on a even smaller vehicle.

I don't want promotion of piss pore performance on the development of Ariane 6; by awarding follow on development contracts before Ariane 6 is operational. Arianegroup should deliver what they promise otherwise as they did with Ariane 6 development, they destroy the whole European launch industry.
I think the real reason for Ariane 6 development delays haven't be published, because the company at fold will be held accountable for 1.5years without production demand on all dedicated Ariane 6 production assets. That will be a huge claim.
Government will always have too much things to spend money on and not enough resources. The question is how you decide among all the options and how you keep your strategic options viable for the day when economics are trumped by the realities of plague, famine and/or war.
Everything is a tradeoff between cost and strategic independence. Europe had incredible luck with the absolute mismanagement of Hermes/Ariane 5. They got everything wrong and by sheer luck got a launcher that was the commercial gold standard exactly when the Russians and Americans mismanaged their programs (Atlas V, Delta IV, Angara, Sea Launch and Proton) and the GEO birds size grew to the 3 to 6 tonne size. So they got used to not spend money thanks to the commercial viability of their launcher. I do have to note Ariane 2-4 were excellent dual-use launchers.
But they relied for a long time on Russians and Americans for the small launcher segment and straight Russians for the middle segment. And now that came and bit them in the rear. The sons of wealth and prosperity after the fall of the Berlin Wall are just now finding out that the history of human race is a lot tougher and you really need to keep your strategic options when clients find better deals elsewhere... or the hordes decide to invade you. That's just human nature.
Technology and space has become clearly a most important intelligence and military asset that Europe needs to keep at any cost. The future is clearly on at least partially reusable launchers. And Europe has botched this segment of the space chain. Regrettably they need to work right now on short term solutions (specially on the medium polar segment), medium term (partially reusable heavy (16 to 25 tonnes to LEO) launchers, and long term (fully reusable).
They shouldn't go full bending metal on SUSIE, that's clear. But keep studying it, and ideally agree on a small set of top-level requirements that it must comply with. Then, add a couple of extra companies getting the same requirements but absolute design freedom to achieve them.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743

Technology and space has become clearly a most important intelligence and military asset that Europe needs to keep at any cost. The future is clearly on at least partially reusable launchers. And Europe has botched this segment of the space chain. Regrettably they need to work right now on short term solutions (specially on the medium polar segment), medium term (partially reusable heavy (16 to 25 tonnes to LEO) launchers, and long term (fully reusable).
They shouldn't go full bending metal on SUSIE, that's clear. But keep studying it, and ideally agree on a small set of top-level requirements that it must comply with. Then, add a couple of extra companies getting the same requirements but absolute design freedom to achieve them.
Unfortunately "At any cost" has gotten them A6.  :(

Interesting strategy.  Remember though that the funding usually goes through ESA, and ESA has other members than those of the EU, the UK, Canada and Israel to name a few.  ;)
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524

Technology and space has become clearly a most important intelligence and military asset that Europe needs to keep at any cost. The future is clearly on at least partially reusable launchers. And Europe has botched this segment of the space chain. Regrettably they need to work right now on short term solutions (specially on the medium polar segment), medium term (partially reusable heavy (16 to 25 tonnes to LEO) launchers, and long term (fully reusable).
They shouldn't go full bending metal on SUSIE, that's clear. But keep studying it, and ideally agree on a small set of top-level requirements that it must comply with. Then, add a couple of extra companies getting the same requirements but absolute design freedom to achieve them.
Unfortunately "At any cost" has gotten them A6.  :(

Interesting strategy.  Remember though that the funding usually goes through ESA, and ESA has other members than those of the EU, the UK, Canada and Israel to name a few.  ;)

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

ESA has 22 member states. Neither Canada, nor Israel are member states of ESA.

Canada has a Cooperation Agreement with ESA and has a seat on the ESA council. As such they have a voice in how ESA spends its money. But Canada is not a member state of ESA.
Three European countries are Associate Members of ESA.
And five EU states have a Cooperation Agreement (ECS - European Cooperating State) with ESA, similar to the one Canada has, but WITHOUT a seat on the ESA council.

Israel is neiter a member state, nor an associate member. And it also is not an ECS.
There is a cooperation agreement between ESA and ISA (the Israeli Space Agency), but it is similar to the agreement between ESA and NASA. It does not give ISA any leverage in what ESA spends its funds on.

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8354
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 2531
  • Likes Given: 8055

Technology and space has become clearly a most important intelligence and military asset that Europe needs to keep at any cost. The future is clearly on at least partially reusable launchers. And Europe has botched this segment of the space chain. Regrettably they need to work right now on short term solutions (specially on the medium polar segment), medium term (partially reusable heavy (16 to 25 tonnes to LEO) launchers, and long term (fully reusable).
They shouldn't go full bending metal on SUSIE, that's clear. But keep studying it, and ideally agree on a small set of top-level requirements that it must comply with. Then, add a couple of extra companies getting the same requirements but absolute design freedom to achieve them.
Unfortunately "At any cost" has gotten them A6.  :(

I don't want to sound like a broken record but A6 is actually a wonderful achievement in comparison to the four solids monster that CNES was pushing. I think they actually saved the program with that.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32518
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 21129
  • Likes Given: 3641
I don't want to sound like a broken record but A6 is actually a wonderful achievement in comparison to the four solids monster that CNES was pushing. I think they actually saved the program with that.

I don't think it matters. The CNES design and the current design are already obsolete.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2022 04:29 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
I don't want to sound like a broken record but A6 is actually a wonderful achievement in comparison to the four solids monster that CNES was pushing. I think they actually saved the program with that.

I don't think it matters. The CNES design and the current design are already obsolete.

So is Vulcan. But I don't hear anyone complaining over that little fact.
And NO, SMART is nowhere close to be implemented on Vulcan. It is as far along in development as Themis and Prometheus: at least 7 years away from implementation.

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8354
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 2531
  • Likes Given: 8055
I don't want to sound like a broken record but A6 is actually a wonderful achievement in comparison to the four solids monster that CNES was pushing. I think they actually saved the program with that.

I don't think it matters. The CNES design and the current design are already obsolete.

Current A6 design is barely competitive in a segment that's not very well aligned with demand, but can do albeit at a high cost while they actually do what needs to be done. The CNES (PPC was it called?) was an atrocious design that would have meant A7 would have to be a new start cost ESA a lot more.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

ESA has 22 member states. Neither Canada, nor Israel are member states of ESA.

Canada has a Cooperation Agreement with ESA and has a seat on the ESA council. As such they have a voice in how ESA spends its money. But Canada is not a member state of ESA.
Three European countries are Associate Members of ESA.
And five EU states have a Cooperation Agreement (ECS - European Cooperating State) with ESA, similar to the one Canada has, but WITHOUT a seat on the ESA council.

Israel is neiter a member state, nor an associate member. And it also is not an ECS.
There is a cooperation agreement between ESA and ISA (the Israeli Space Agency), but it is similar to the agreement between ESA and NASA. It does not give ISA any leverage in what ESA spends its funds on.
Thank you for clarifying my understanding.  My key point was ESA membership <> EU membership, therefore ESA could consider from countries that are not EU member states are within Europe.
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9855
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 2292
  • Likes Given: 12743
I don't want to sound like a broken record but A6 is actually a wonderful achievement in comparison to the four solids monster that CNES was pushing. I think they actually saved the program with that.
Actually I would agree, and IIRC the design only got reconsidered when the Germans said LH2 needed to be part of the design.

But what will follow A6? More of the same? Because if they want to retain a market share of the world payload launch market to offset some of the operating and development costs then BAU won't cut it.  :(

BTW This SUSIE-on-A6 has remarkable echoes of the Hermes-on-A5 (which in turn echoed DynaSoar-on-Titan) that drove Alan Bond to propose HOTOL in the early 80's.

It seems there is a section of the French space industry that does not really learn from history  :(
Unfortunately the consolidation that's produced A6 makes changing course to anything more radical quite difficult.
« Last Edit: 10/12/2022 06:58 am by john smith 19 »
MCT ITS BFR SS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFSC engined CFRP SS structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of Earth & Mars atmospheric flight.First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap

Offline volker2020

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 270
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Liked: 286
  • Likes Given: 691
A lot of patronizing about the EU space industry here ...

Well, I think A6 would have been a good design, if the Space Industry would have stayed in the status quo, that reuseability simply does not work. A6 is a good last decades design.

The really bad thing here, if ESA starts to copy F9 now (and that would include minor improvements), they would again end up with a system that is outdated, when reaching the market.

The good argument against reusability has always been, that the base cost are so high, that it does not make sense, if you have very limited payloads. Either the payloads grow (which is likely taking the huge cost reduction in transport to LEO), or the market is already saturated by SpaceX. Pick your poison.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32518
  • Adelaide, Australia
    • Steven Pietrobon's Space Archive
  • Liked: 21129
  • Likes Given: 3641
The really bad thing here, if ESA starts to copy F9 now (and that would include minor improvements), they would again end up with a system that is outdated, when reaching the market.

Better to be 10 years out of date (after starting on a Falcon 9 clone), then waiting another 10 years (and doing nothing) and be 20 years out of date!
« Last Edit: 10/18/2022 05:42 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline libra

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1820
  • Liked: 1201
  • Likes Given: 2359
A lot of patronizing about the EU space industry here ...

Well, I think A6 would have been a good design, if the Space Industry would have stayed in the status quo, that reuseability simply does not work. A6 is a good last decades design.

The really bad thing here, if ESA starts to copy F9 now (and that would include minor improvements), they would again end up with a system that is outdated, when reaching the market.

The good argument against reusability has always been, that the base cost are so high, that it does not make sense, if you have very limited payloads. Either the payloads grow (which is likely taking the huge cost reduction in transport to LEO), or the market is already saturated by SpaceX. Pick your poison.

That's... an understatement. Thank you and Steven Pietrobon for the last two messages.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1410
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 538
  • Likes Given: 205
Let's clarify myself. Ariane 6 is a very good expendable launcher design. SUSIE as reusable space vehicle launched on top of Ariane 6 is also a good concept in my opinion. But the 2022 ESA ministerial (2023-2025) already has to many activities for Enabling & Support, Space Transportation. SUSIE should have been proposed after Ariane 6 maiden launch at the earliest. In my opinion SUSIE develoment needs to be postponed to the 2024/'25 ESA ministerial.
ArianeGroup isn't set up to do skunkwork style developments. That is needed to mature technologies required for SUSIE.

Let's discuss the following. Let's assume ESA member states fund SUSIE development for 150 mln between early 2023 and end 2025. What activities should be done to advance the concept the most?
« Last Edit: 10/18/2022 08:44 pm by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline Try_NBS

  • Member
  • Posts: 25
  • Go ESA
  • Liked: 10
  • Likes Given: 36
First they will begin the development phase, verify if the concept is really feasible... Engineers know their job.

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
Ariane 6 is an excellent expendable launcher. The question is whether you can live with an expendable launcher nowadays.

Regarding SUSIE...

In my view, there are two possible paths for a crewed European system

Path 1 is a very simple crewed vehicle, launched by Ariane 6, capsule type, high TRL technical choices for the systems, the goal is to get European access to space for European astronauts the soonest as possible. Like the old British Aerospace concept MRC from the eighties... (if only Europe had gone for that when Hermes got cancelled !!!)

Path 2 is to be patient. Develop a TSTO fully reusable system to come after A6. When you have a second stage which flies safely and regularly, lands very safely, adapt it by replacing the payload section by a crew cabin and you have a crewed vehicle. This is the long path.

SUSIE is in-between and I think it is either too ambitious for Path 1 and a distraction for Path 2.
« Last Edit: 10/19/2022 11:21 am by hektor »

Offline hektor

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2425
  • Liked: 1006
  • Likes Given: 42
I checked the IAC program. Susie was presented by the same people who gave us Adeline. Do I need to elaborate ?  ::)

Offline LouScheffer

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3034
  • Liked: 5335
  • Likes Given: 670
The really bad thing here, if ESA starts to copy F9 now (and that would include minor improvements), they would again end up with a system that is outdated, when reaching the market.
Better to be 10 years out of date (after starting on a Falcon 9 clone), then waiting another 10 years (and doing nothing) and be 20 years out of date!
Interestingly, there is private money (RocketLab with Neutron) chasing the idea of Falcon 9 with improvements.  Many suspect they will need to raise more money to complete this project.  If so, for a fraction of what they would spend on their own competitor, perhaps ESA could help fund Neutron development, in return for IP rights, the right to manufacture in Europe, and a pad in Guiana.

This would solve the problem of assured European access to space, if they can build and launch their own vehicle, from their own spaceport, at a reasonable (even if not StarShip level) cost.  It could also preserve some manufacturing capabilities, though not the large solids some EDA factions would prefer.  This project alone would not preserve the ability to design and qualify new vehicles, but that might be covered by project working on next generation (fully reusable) concepts.

However, spending significant money outside the ESA for a core function (design and qualification) seems implausible, no matter what the practical benefits might be.

 

Offline TrevorMonty



The really bad thing here, if ESA starts to copy F9 now (and that would include minor improvements), they would again end up with a system that is outdated, when reaching the market.
Better to be 10 years out of date (after starting on a Falcon 9 clone), then waiting another 10 years (and doing nothing) and be 20 years out of date!
Interestingly, there is private money (RocketLab with Neutron) chasing the idea of Falcon 9 with improvements.  Many suspect they will need to raise more money to complete this project.  If so, for a fraction of what they would spend on their own competitor, perhaps ESA could help fund Neutron development, in return for IP rights, the right to manufacture in Europe, and a pad in Guiana.

This would solve the problem of assured European access to space, if they can build and launch their own vehicle, from their own spaceport, at a reasonable (even if not StarShip level) cost.  It could also preserve some manufacturing capabilities, though not the large solids some EDA factions would prefer.  This project alone would not preserve the ability to design and qualify new vehicles, but that might be covered by project working on next generation (fully reusable) concepts.

However, spending significant money outside the ESA for a core function (design and qualification) seems implausible, no matter what the practical benefits might be.

ESA would be better off flying Dreamchaser on A6 while developing a RLV. Sierra Space may even use combination for commercial missions.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11415
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 15314
  • Likes Given: 9524
I checked the IAC program. Susie was presented by the same people who gave us Adeline. Do I need to elaborate ?  ::)

Oh dear... the fly-back engine module concept from 2015. That silly idea went absolutely nowhere.

Offline floss

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 512
  • Liked: 24
  • Likes Given: 127
Problems with Hermes was it was too small to be of use at 25 tons Susie is big enough to do what was wanted of Hermes original design .

I personally love this design because it is a great basis for a reusable mars lander .

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15722
  • Liked: 6003
  • Likes Given: 2644
See the passage in bold below:

Quote from: ESA
The ESA budget for space transportation has risen to €2.8 billion. ESA will further strengthen its Ariane 6 and Vega-C launchers, complete the development of the reusable Space Rider that can stay in low Earth orbit for more than two months before returning to Earth for refurbishment, and develop a green hydrogen system to fuel Ariane launchers at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, with the goal of eliminating carbon in hydrogen production by 2030. It will continue to mature critical technologies that underpin European capabilities while responding to environmental sustainability and cost-efficiency requirements, along with preparatory activities for the advent of human space transportation capabilities. ESA will also increase the efforts of its Boost! programme to help space entrepreneurs turn their space transportation projects into commercial reality.

https://www.esa.int/About_Us/Corporate_news/Ministers_back_ESA_s_bold_ambitions_for_space_with_record_17_rise
« Last Edit: 11/24/2022 03:35 am by yg1968 »

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
0