Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Europe to invest 12 bln euros in a new space Odyssey
by Olga Zakutnyaya
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Nov 25, 2012

illustration only

Member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canada met in Naples, Italy, to determine the space agenda and the budget for the next five years. The discussed projects include ExoMars rover, Ariane 5 rocket modernization and NASA's new manned Orion multipurpose crew vehicle (MPCV), as well as some 12bn euros' worth of activities.

The Naples meeting was crucial for Russian space research as it was to approve the ExoMars mission deal between ESA and Russia's Roskosmos space agency. The project has been approved and the deal will be sealed November 27.

Thus, Russia got another chance to explore Mars, five years after the Phobos mission failure. The first phase of the ExoMars mission is planned for 2016 and Russia's Academy of Sciences has already begun research to design equipment for the Trace Gas Orbiter robotic orbit carrier which includes ACS spectrometers and the FREND neutron detector to study water distribution on the Mars surface. It also includes the EDL demonstrator module to exploit the entry descent and landing. Russia is also expected to contribute its Proton carrier rocket to the project.

The second ExoMars phase will be the launch of the Pasteur rover scheduled for 2018. Russia is providing a carrier rocket and a landing platform with research equipment as well as two gadgets for the rover.

This project is a real technological challenge both for Russia and ESA which hasn't yet enjoyed a successful Mars landing. In December 2004, the Beagle 2 landing spacecraft was carried to Mars but the mission appeared unsuccessful. However, the Mars Express reconnaissance orbiter carried together with Beagle 2 has been working on the Red Planet for almost 8 years and sent plenty of useful data about Mars atmosphere, surface and climate change.

The Naples meeting showed that space is not only about competition but also about cooperation.

Shortly before the meeting, Spacex CEO Elon Musk, whose company is designing the Falcon 9 rocket-powered spaceflight launch system and the NASA-ordered Dragon spacecraft, told BBC that "Ariane 5 has no chance to compete with Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. If I were in the position of Ariane, I would really push for an Ariane 6," adding that Falcon's "quoted price of under $60m per flight is proving highly attractive to satellite operators who have to pay substantially more to get on an Ariane".

"The next version of Falcon 9 is actually able to go to a lower price", pledged Mr. Musk.

IF ESA wants to stay on the market it should "start the development on a next-generation Ariane - often dubbed Ariane 6- immediately" -was Mr.Musk's advice.

However, ESA has its own view on the situation planning the current vehicle upgraded before moving to a new design.

The upgrade - known as Ariane 5ME (Mid-Life Evolution) was began in 2008 and is expected to have its first mission in 2012-18 (in case of Ariane 6 it would be only 2021). The new model is to be compatible with Ariane 6 reducing the cost of the eventual project.

The ESA nations also agreed to extend the ISS Exploitation until 2020 and to contribute to the design of the Orion MPCV.

Orion is the ATV derived service module which is also used at the ISS. It was part of the already shut NASA's Constellation program, and is being designed to venture into deep missions to the far side of the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, and Mars.

Britain has also agreed to play a major role in the project contributing some 20 mln euros and now the US government is to decide whether to approve the program or not.

Experts say that ESA joining the Orion will change the project as now the debut of the Space Launch System (SLS) that is to send the Orion to the Moon in 2017 has quite a dim perspective.

If the project is joined by other parties, the Orion prospects will become more definite and ESA's contribution can appear decisive for the project which is crucial for the future of manned missions.

Source: Voice of Russia


Related Links
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

European Ministers decide to invest in space to boost Europe's competitiveness and growth
Naples, Italy (ESA) Nov 22, 2012
ESA has just concluded a successful two-day Council meeting at ministerial level in Naples, Italy. Ministers from ESA's 20 member states and Canada allocated 10 billion euro for ESA's space activities and programmes for the years to come. Apart from the 20 ESA Member States and Canada, several observers were also present at the Ministerial Council: Seven out of the 9 EU Member States that ... read more

China's Chang'e-3 to land on moon next year

Moon crater yields impact clues

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

NASA's LADEE Spacecraft Gets Final Science Instrument Installed

Spacecraft Monitoring Martian Dust Storm

Meteorite samples provide definitive evidence of water and rock types on Mars

Curiosity Rover Preparing for Thanksgiving Activities

Curiosity Team May Reveal Major Discovery Soon

UK Secures Billion Pound Package For Space Investment

Europe, U.S. talk space program link

At Helsinki's Slush, start-ups 'speed date' for financing

NASA Selects Information Technology Flight Operations Support Contract

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

Three ISS crew return to Earth in Russian capsule

Station Crew Off Duty After Undocking

Space station command changes

Russia restores space contact after cable rupture

Pleiades 1B is ready for integration in the payload "stack" for Arianespace's next Soyuz mission

France, Germany compromise on Ariane launcher: minister

Mexsat Bicentenario is delivered to French Guiana for its December launch on Ariane 5

France, Germany seek Ariane compromise at ESA space meet

Rare image of Super-Jupiter sheds light on planet formation

Astronomers Directly Image Massive Star's 'Super-Jupiter'

NASA's Kepler Wraps Prime Mission, Begins Extension

Lowell astronomer, collaborators point the way for exoplanet search

Systems engineering expertise leads to increased counterfire target acquisition radar capabilities

Raytheon achieves critical firsts for US Navy dual-band radar

Thermogenerator from the Printer

University of Glasgow and Clyde Space set to put brakes on space junk problem

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement