Using reusable modules forspace programs significantly reduces the cost of projects. Blue Origin and SpaceX have put into practice and are already using reusable rockets. Now the European Space Agency (ESA) has presented a promising project of a Space Rider reusable capsule, capable of delivering scientific equipment to and from space several times.
The basis of Space Rider is taken experimentalunmanned project ESA (IXV), completed a test flight in 2015 and a successful return to Earth. The new capsule is based on the use of the technical concept of the IXV and has a multi-purpose cargo compartment that opens into space, a new design of the landing gear, which allows you to make 5 or more repeated flights into space.
Space Rider capsule is launched from the startingVega-C rocket module and is installed on the top stage of AVUM +, which provides control of the module and delivers 600 watts of power to it. In the cargo compartment of Space Rider, you can place a useful weight of up to 800 kg and a volume of up to 1200 liters.
During the flight, the module can rotate in different directions to explore different sectors of outer space or Earth.
Flight Space Rider is designed for 2 monthsafter which the module independently leaves the orbit, calculates the optimum angle of entry into the atmosphere. After braking due to friction in the dense layers of the atmosphere to a predetermined speed, the parachute opens and lands. Then, after maintenance, the module is re-launched into space.
All assessments are currently underway.health systems of the module. The final project analysis and expertise will take place at the end of 2019, and the launch of Space Rider is scheduled for 2022 and will be the first reusable spacecraft developed by European specialists.