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Europe & China may do joint space missions

esa space missions china europe

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:43 PM

The head of ESA's human space flight division said his agency is exploring the possibility of joint space missions with China as part of a wider co-operation with the country. In 2003, China became only the third nation to launch a human into orbit after Russia and the United States.

"I would welcome a European astronaut flying aboard a Chinese spaceship," Thomas Reiter told The Associated Press in an interview on the sidelines of the ILA Berlin Air Show.

The German former astronaut said ESA is planning to slowly deepen co-operation with its Chinese counterpart and could aim for joint missions in "the second half of this decade."

"In fact, some of our astronauts have started Chinese language training," he said.

http://www.telegraph...with-China.html

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#2    keithisco

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 05:46 PM

The only negative that I would have to this article is that ESA already has the Jules Verne re-supply vessel that can be re-configured to hold 6 human occupants. We also have Arianne that can lift this into orbit, Europe (ESA) can do all of this stuff by itself...


#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:44 PM

View Postkeithisco, on 12 September 2012 - 05:46 PM, said:

The only negative that I would have to this article is that ESA already has the Jules Verne re-supply vessel that can be re-configured to hold 6 human occupants. We also have Arianne that can lift this into orbit, Europe (ESA) can do all of this stuff by itself...
Europe can in the future, but it will take a while.

It is not simply a mater of reconfiguring the Automated Transfer Vehicle or ATV (Jules Verne was the name of the first of these vehicles only). The ATV has no re-entry capability. A version carrying a manned capsule has been proposed. Called the Crew Transport Vehicle this is a vehicle derived from the ATV, but hugely modified. ESA has no-experience of large re-entry capsules or of launch escape systems, so this project will be expensive (estimated to be more than 300 million to develop an unmanned capsule and around 2 billion for a manned version). It will also be a long term project.

The Ariane 5 launcher will also need modifying as it is not man-rated, however this should be simpler as it was originally planned to be the launch vehicle for the abandoned Hermes mini-shuttle vehicle.

Flying European astronauts on the Chinese Shenzhou, by contrast, can be done relatively (once the Chinese have gained enough experience themselves) and relatively cheaply.

ESA has a long history of collaboration in manned space-flight, having had cosmonauts launched to the Mir space station and on board the shuttle even before the USA and Russia started cooperating. It makes sense to continue this pattern with the Chinese. If no European manned vehicle is forthcoming then it would be a shame to waste the opportunity. If a European manned vehicle does emerge then the greater the experience gained before hand the better.

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#4    Render

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 09:28 AM

"Chinese spaceship"
i just hope it isn't as fragile as it sounds :P





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