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selvaarchi
2015-Jan-07, 06:20 AM
SpaceX has got the competition worried. We first had India and now Europe looking at reusable rockets. Believe China might also be doing R&D in the same direction.

http://spacenews.com/with-eye-on-spacex-cnes-begins-work-on-reusable-rocket-stage/


The French space agency, CNES, on Jan. 5 said it has begun a small technology research program with Germany and other governments to develop a future liquid oxygen/methane-powered rocket stage that would be reusable.

Garrison
2015-Jan-09, 08:04 PM
Which is great, until you read this part:


ESA’s reusable-launcher program is small in size, although when matched with work done by CNES on its own and by the German Aerospace Center, it could produce a consensus on a future technology roadmap by mid-2015. But a vehicle demonstration of the sort SpaceX has planned, he said, will not occur before 2026.

selvaarchi
2015-Jan-10, 01:11 AM
Which is great, until you read this part:

It is better to be doing some R&D then none at all. Same with what India is doing. I do not expect to see reusable rockets from them anytime soon.

Garrison
2015-Jan-10, 10:38 PM
It is better to be doing some R&D then none at all. Same with what India is doing. I do not expect to see reusable rockets from them anytime soon.

This isn't serious R&D, this is some company that came up with a proposal to pick up a few tax euros. You only have to look at the design proposals for the Ariane 6 to see that they aren't taking resusability seriously anymore than the Chinese or Indians are.

selvaarchi
2015-Jan-10, 11:08 PM
This isn't serious R&D, this is some company that came up with a proposal to pick up a few tax euros. You only have to look at the design proposals for the Ariane 6 to see that they aren't taking resusability seriously anymore than the Chinese or Indians are.

That is real money they are throwing at it. In India's case with limited budget they have gone as far to develop one aspect of it into a prototype which they will be testing in two months time.

NEOWatcher
2015-Jan-10, 11:48 PM
In India's case with limited budget they have gone as far to develop one aspect of it into a prototype which they will be testing in two months time.
In India's case, it isn't a rocket. It's a capsule.

selvaarchi
2015-Jan-11, 12:54 AM
In India's case, it isn't a rocket. It's a capsule.

:confused: The report did say it will be powered with added booster rockets. Let us wait till March for the actual thing.

NEOWatcher
2015-Jan-11, 01:11 AM
:confused: The report did say it will be powered with added booster rockets. Let us wait till March for the actual thing.
I pointed out the errors in that article and gave you links of what it is.

selvaarchi
2015-Jan-11, 01:21 AM
I pointed out the errors in that article and gave you links of what it is.

You are right, it does say dummy second stage. None of the latest reports mention that.

Garrison
2015-Jan-11, 01:54 AM
That is real money they are throwing at it. In India's case with limited budget they have gone as far to develop one aspect of it into a prototype which they will be testing in two months time.

The money's real, the commitment isn't. LIke India and China Europe is hoping reusability will never be an issue.

Van Rijn
2015-Jan-11, 05:27 AM
The money's real, the commitment isn't. LIke India and China Europe is hoping reusability will never be an issue.

In fairness, it isn't really an issue *yet* so they have a bit of time before they need to get serious. Reusability really matters when there is more traffic, when you have a lot of rockets flown often. A few reusable prototypes (like the Shuttle, though that would probably be better described as partly refurbishable) will be an economic failure. SpaceX is trying to push the market by reducing costs conventionally, and hopes to drive them lower with reusability, but that will only really matter if the market increases. I think it will, and believe we'll be seeing expanded conventional use and new uses for space, with many more players getting involved (I think a lot of countries would like to have a space program of sorts if it wasn't too expensive and there were enough flights available), but that's going to take a while to get established. I think the current space powers will get really interested in reusability in the '20s.

Nicolas
2015-Jan-12, 12:34 PM
And SpaceX has the luxury position of being able to test & develop their reusability in full scale tests for virtually no money as the flights were going to happen anyway. At this stage, the only way to seriously develop reusability beyond Powerpoint when there's no government money to burn on it.

Others will follow when the market demands or warrants reusability; SpaceX can develop it without needing the market for it already.

publiusr
2015-Jan-18, 09:03 PM
Maybe the folks behind Star Booster should take note--perhaps get their names out there over the pond.

NEOWatcher
2015-Jan-18, 11:41 PM
Maybe the folks behind Star Booster should take note--perhaps get their names out there over the pond.
Care to elaborate?
The only star booster that I know of are ATK's upper stages.

Garrison
2015-Jan-19, 06:17 PM
Care to elaborate?
The only star booster that I know of are ATK's upper stages.

Found this page:

http://buzzaldrin.com/space-vision/rocket_science/starbooster/

Basically winged fly back first stages. Hugely complicated and nothing but a few nice pictures at the moment.

NEOWatcher
2015-Jan-20, 02:02 AM
Found this page:

http://buzzaldrin.com/space-vision/rocket_science/starbooster/

Basically winged fly back first stages. Hugely complicated and nothing but a few nice pictures at the moment.
Thanks for that. I've seen various similar concepts, but nothing but nice pictures as you say.

Garrison
2015-Jan-21, 09:35 PM
Thanks for that. I've seen various similar concepts, but nothing but nice pictures as you say.

Problem with all these ideas is that it will take serious money to make them come to life. From a standing start to a flying Falcon9/Dragon was around $400 million dollars if I remember correctly and I can't see a design like this being done for less. You need someone with deep pockets and a geniune committment and there aren't many of those to go around.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-11, 12:49 PM
Live coverage: Vega rocket set for launch of European mini-shuttle. Only 10 mins to launch

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/02/10/vv04-mission-status-center/

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-11, 12:58 PM
Count stopped at 4mins 25 sec.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-11, 01:34 PM
The Vega rocket is targeted for launch at 1340 GMT (8:40 a.m. EST) with Europe's experimental IXV space plane. The countdown will resume from T-minus 4 minutes and begin the final synchronized sequence.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-11, 01:42 PM
It has launched.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-11, 09:37 PM
IXV Spaceplane successfully returns to Earth after ambitious Re-Entry Test

http://www.spaceflight101.com/ixv-spaceplane-successfully-returns-to-earth-after-ambitious-re-entry-test.html

ESA’s Intermediate Experimental Vehicle successfully made a trip into space and back on Wednesday, being lofted on a sub-orbital trajectory by a Vega launch vehicle to complete half a lap around planet Earth to demonstrate re-entry technologies to pave the way for the development of future re-entry vehicles such as sample return craft, recoverable space-experiment platforms and reusable launch vehicles.

The IXV spaceplane made a thundering blastoff atop its Vega launcher at 13:40 UTC on Wednesday enjoying a flawless 18-minute ride on the all-solid fueled rocket and its liquid-fueled upper module. Being dropped off in a sub-orbital trajectory, IXV began its journey taking it around the planet, passing a maximum altitude of 413 Kilometers to set up re-entry over the Pacific Ocean where a recovery ship was stationed to retrieve the landed vehicle.

This re-entry was set up to represent an orbital re-entry in both speed and entry angle to validate the thermal protection system of the lifting-body IXV spacecraft as well as its control system consisting of steering flaps and thrusters, but no wings. Splashdown was confirmed at 15:19 UTC, marking the successful completion of IXV’s mission leading into months of data analysis.
The main elements that are demonstrated by IXV include the development of a system capable of returning from Low Earth Orbit with a lifting system that is capable of reaching a large down range distance with significant cross-range capability using a combination of rockets and aerosurfaces. The IXV spacecraft is 5 meters long, 2.2 meters wide and 1.5 meters high with a launch mass of 1,845 Kilograms and a lift-to-drag-ratio of 0.7.

Glom
2015-Feb-12, 06:27 PM
Isn't that l/D not much worse than the Space Shuttle itself? I thought that was 1.

Nicolas
2015-Feb-13, 10:02 AM
The Space Shuttle had wings. This is a wingless lifting body. Its L/D is better than that of a standard capsule.

In any case, media hasn't been too clear on this, but as far as I know IXV is just a demonstrator and any actual craft developed from it are not restricted to its shape.