Author Topic: SUSIE, (Smart Upper Stage for Innovative Exploration) concept from ARIANE  (Read 26957 times)

Offline Try_NBS

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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

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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

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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

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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 TBC. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

Offline Try_NBS

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Online woods170

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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

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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

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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 TBC. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" R. Simberg."Competitve" means cheaper ¬cheap SCramjet proposed 1956. First +ve thrust 2004. US R&D spend to date > $10Bn. #deployed designs. Zero.

Offline Try_NBS

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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...

Online woods170

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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

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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

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Europe isn't tying anything. Arianegroup made a proposal so they can waist billions of taxpayer money.

Offline AstroWare

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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

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