posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 02:02 AM
Next-Generation Space Vehicle Tested in Pacific Ocean Drop
Crescent City CA (SPX) Aug 09, 2005
A new space vehicle to carry crews to the International Space Station moved closer to realization August 3 when Transformational Space Corporation
tested its parachute landing system by dropping a replica into the Pacific Ocean.
NASA chose Transformational Space ("t/Space") in September 2004, along with seven other aerospace companies, to develop concepts for the next
generation of NASA vehicles. t/Space won a $6 million contract with a promise to go beyond paper design studies to actual hardware prototyping.
Today's test focused on a proposed Crew Transfer Vehicle (CXV) to ferry astronauts to the Space Station at lower cost and risk than the Space
NASA plans a competition this fall to select a new vehicle to carry crew to the Space Station. t/Space will offer its four-person CXV. NASA also is
moving forward with a separate effort to create a new Crew Exploration Vehicle for Moon and Mars Exploration.
Another key player in the t/Space effort is AirLaunch LLC, which is under contract with the Defense Dept. to develop a low-cost responsive booster.
The second-stage engine for its QuickReach I was successfully ground-fired this summer with funding from the Falcon program, which is operated jointly
by the U.S. Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
The same engine technology is planned to boost the t/Space spacecraft to the International Space Station.
"We have now used study-level money in the six-month option phase of our contract to do both analytical work and build real hardware," said David
Gump, t/Space president.
"This demonstrates that our rapid-prototyping approach to creating space vehicles is both very fast and very cost-effective."
I didn't know NASA was planning a cheap ferry craft for shuttling crew to and from the ISS. Good, now they can dedicate the CEV solely for trips to
the Moon and Mars.