Re-usable space transportation vehicles

Posted on 14 Dec 2019 and read 376 times
Re-usable space transportation vehiclesSpace Rider — Europe’s solution for its own affordable and re-usable ‘end to end’ integrated space transportation system — will be used to place various payloads into different low Earth orbit (LEO) altitudes and inclinations.

Walter Cugno, vice-president (sciences and exploration) at Thales Alenia Space (www.thalesgroup.com), which is responsible for the design and development of key aspects of Space Rider, said: “It is a fantastic mission, which will bring together an extraordinary number of capabilities as a platform for experimentation and observation — plus Space Rider can be launched, returned to Earth and re-used.”

Space Rider has been designed to remain in orbit for two months, before re-entering the atmosphere and landing on the ground ‘with a precision of 150m’. Once recovered (along with its payload) and refurbished, it can be used for up to five more missions.

Mr Cugno said: “There is already interest from several potential commercial clients in different fields. These include a number of pharmaceutical companies, because the micro-gravity environment is ideal for developing drugs and other medicines.

“In addition, new satellites could be launched into orbit from Space Rider’s bay, satellites already in orbit could be inspected, and space debris could be collected.”

He added that Space Rider’s planned launch in 2022 will mark the beginning of the next stage of space exploration.

“It will demonstrate that we have mastered all of the technologies needed to further explore the Moon, Mars and then on to the further reaches of the universe, not to mention future applications for point-to-point flights and spaceplanes — and even space tourism.”

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