A space shuttle , in the field of the Astronautics, is a reusable aerospace vehicle designed to ensure the service road of the space stations in low Orbite but also being able to ensure of other missions, such as the launching or the artificial satellite repair of . The term corresponding in English is space Shuttle .
Several shuttles were built and used by the American space agency, NASA, whereas only one Russian shuttle, Bourane, flew in automatic mode (without crew), and that the European project Hermes was abandoned.
The American space shuttle
See also: American Space shuttle
The the United States are the first to design a reusable space shuttle able to take along large satellite S in low Orbite and to bring them back on the Ground. Six space Shuttle were conceived since 1976: Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavor. Enterprise was a demonstrator and never went in space. Columbia and Challenger were destroyed on mission. To note the model life size Pathfinder who was used as testing ground.
The Russian space shuttle
See also: Space shuttle Bourane
The Soviet Union obtained a program of space shuttle to the image of that of the the United States. Two shuttles were built although only one, Bourane, whose name means snowstorm , carried out a orbital Vol without crew, entirely automated the November 15th 1988. The second Navette Ptichka could not be completed for basic lack. The program is abandoned in 1993, at the time of the collapse of the Union.
From an external point of view, the Russian shuttle resembles American. the differences are at the level of the design. For example, it does not have clean propulsion for launching, it is carried by the rocket Energia. Two of the failures having led to the loss of the American shuttles could not have occurred on Bourane, due to different design:
- the side booster rockets are not solid propellent motors, but of the liquid engines with Comburant S (kerosene/oxygen)
- the booster rocket Bourane does not have a coating external of insulating foam, because it does not use hydrogen liquidates
Bourane forever have of embarked crew and is the only flying equipment having taken off, makes it tower of planet in orbit and lands in an automatic way.
Orion, the American CEV
See also: Orion (space vehicle)
Orion is the name of the vehicles of exploration with crew (CEV) called to succeed the shuttle as a principal vessel of NASA for human space exploration. This name comes from one of the shuttles of film of Stanley Kubrick 2001, the odyssey of space (1968), as of a nuclear project of propulsion which was cancelled.
Orion was previously known like the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and must replace the American space shuttle by 2010. NASA envisages a service entrance in 2014 at the latest to transport the astronauts on the International space station (ISS), and in 2020 for the transport of astronauts on the the Moon.
The vessel will have a diameter of 5 meters for a weight of 25 tons and will be a little more than 2,5 times the size of the modules Apollo. The vessel will be launched in space on the top of the rocket, and the return will be done by landing or parachuted sea landing. It will be able to transport six astronauts on the ISS or four on the Moon.
It is expected that Orion and its cylindrical module (CSM) are used for the transport of vivres and the other equipment necessary to the crew and launched by a launcher Ares I.
The company Lockheed Martin was in charge of the construction of Orion. The design and development will rise to 3,9 billion dollars until 2013 and its construction and maintenance will rise as for them to 4 billion dollars until 2019.
Projects of space shuttles and space planes
Several projects of space shuttles (for orbital flights) and of space planes (for suborbital flights) were developed since the beginning of the space conquest at the end of the years 1950, But because of their complexity and their cost, only one a flight allowed successfully to date: Space Ship One . This project was carried out to gain the Ansari X Prize, which offered 10 million dollar S to the first private company managing to launch a space Avion reusable.
Here a list of various projects which were developed:
- X-20 Dyna-Soar : the first known project, started in 1957 by USAF, it acted of a single-seat vessel.
- NASP (National AeroSpace Planes), also known under the name of X-30, was announced in 1986 by the US president Ronald Reagan before being cancelled in 1994.
- Hermes, project of European shuttle of the ESA which was to be launched by the rocket ARIANE 5
- Bor: project of Soviet shuttle similar to Hermes having stolen 4 times without crew including 3 times in space between 1982 and 1984.
- HOTOL for HOrizontal TakeOff and Landing , project of space shuttle British monoétage studied at the end of the Années 1980 and given up in the middle of the years 1990.
- Sänger, German project, same destiny that HOTOL
- Tupolev-2000, Soviet project launched in reaction to the advertisement of American X-30 stopped in 1992
- Hope-X, project of demonstrator of a space shuttle of abandoned NASDA Japanese in 2003.
- X-33, demonstrator for the shuttle Venture Star, project developed from 1997 of Lockheed Martin using engines Aerospike developed by Boeing, the program was abandoned in 2000.
X-38 Crew Return Vehicle (CRV), prototype for a project of vehicle of rescue for ISS, an atmospheric flight was carried out in 1998 then the program was stopped.
- Beaver alias USV FTB-1 (Unmanned Space Vehicle - Flying Test Beds 1), testing device without pilot and engine being 9,2 meters long and having a mass of 1,2 ton of the Italian Center of space research, presented in 2006, the 1st placing in orbit is envisaged in 2010 since the Guianese Space center
- Xerus, project of space plane autonomous on horizontal takeoff, and vocation of tourism and transport (American promoter: Xcor)
- Space Ship One, space plane released by the carrier White Knight of the american company Scaled Composites, of which one of the founders is Paul Allen of Microsoft. He gained the Ansari X Prize on October 4th, 2004 (the very same day of the launching of Sputnik 1, on October 4th, 1956), and the price of 10 million dollars concerned.
- Black Armadillo, project of reusable suborbital rocket, on takeoff and vertical landing. It is developed by the company Armadillo Space, of which the principal shareholder is John Carmack, creator of the video games Doom and Quake .
- Kliper, a space plane Russian which supposed to replace the vessels Soyuz at the horizon 2015, whose cancellation supposed in 2006 is prone to controversies.
In spite of the victory of Space Ship One, other teams continue their research to develop a reusable space vehicle, in the hope of a commercial development of suborbital space tourism.
- Aries has and B (Alternative Reusable Italian Expandable Spacecraft). Italian project of vehicle on vertical takeoff and return in planed flight.
- Freedom (Freedom) and Independence (Independence) in the film Armageddon .
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