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ESA's Space shuttle

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posted on May, 10 2004 @ 04:47 AM
Well it looks like the ESA is developing a shuttle. They've done some tests with a scale model already. I don't know too much about it yet though. It does look kind of neat though. I am curious as to what kind of heat shielding they'll have. Hopefully something better than those tiles that NASA's shuttle uses.

It seems that this thing won't be around till 2015 - 2020 though.

posted on May, 10 2004 @ 05:02 AM
Yeah I also just noticed the article on

I found more info about it:

The challenge of future launchers

I'll try to find more info...

posted on May, 10 2004 @ 11:49 AM
Pretty cool.Let's hope it doesn't turn into a 500 million per-launch vehicle like the U.S shuttle.

posted on May, 10 2004 @ 11:55 AM
My initial thought was "great, we're only 30 years behind the Americans"! Still, at least we are trying. It's not going to be quite the same as the US shuttle in purpose.

Part of me wonders if the design is obselete already. There seems to be a separation of heavy lifters, and human transport developing. I can't quite see what role the ESA shuttle will be filling in 15 years when it's completed. I think that this could get scrapped at some point. The scaled composites ship will be making hourly trips to space by then.

[Edited on 10-5-2004 by Zzub]

posted on May, 11 2004 @ 05:37 AM




The interesting thing for me is the proposed lauching mechanism for the Space Hopper which is 7 times larger than the Phoenix which is seven metres long and has a wing span of four metres. This would launch on a sled running on a four-kilometre-long track at Europe's space base in French Guiana, accelerated by either magnetic fields or steam.

At a height of 130 km, the vehicle would fire an expendable rocket to place its satellite payload into orbit. It would then "hop" down to an island in the Atlantic Ocean and be taken back to French Guiana by ship.

EADS says a reusable launch vehicle like Hopper could halve the cost of sending a satellite into orbit, which now stands at $15,000 per kilogram of payload

Does anyone have any more info on the proposed lauch system hoe fast how high it will send the Hopper and what power requirement will be?


posted on May, 11 2004 @ 12:47 PM
at first i was really exceited that esa was finaly going to have a cool heavy lauch vehicle like the american shuttle... but sadly this shuttle is only proposed for laughing sattalites into orbit, it does not have the capability to ferry astronauts, although it is said a manned vehicle could be constructed within 40-50 years. For me this time scale is quite dissapointing, i would of thought esa would have the capability to pull a manned shuttle together within 10 years.

posted on May, 11 2004 @ 12:52 PM
Things may start looking up for reusable space craft in general, after the X Prize is won. They think it'll happen this year. Wow! I get so happy and excited thinking about it.

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