Da quanto riportato su Russianspaceweb i rapporti tra Russia ed Europa, per la realizzazione di un mezzo post Soyuz (sigh!) per le future missioni lunari (Yeah!), sta evolvendo in qualcosa di veramente concreto.
incollo l’articolo di Anatoly Zak:
Published: 2008 Jan. 24
The last ACTS meeting of 2007, between European and Russian space officials took place at ESA facility of ESTEC, in Noordwijk, Netherlands, in the middle of December. The event included both agencies’ and industry officials and had original goal of finalizing an engineering concept of the spacecraft. However, according to sources involved in negotiations, more studies of alternative concepts were deemed necessary before the final configuration would be agreed upon by all sides.
According to some reports, an Apollo-like, cone-shaped capsule, capable of accommodating six people, was proposed as an alternative to a “headlight” shape of the crew module, which was deemed favorite in October 2007. If the alternative configuration is approved, the future Russian-European spacecraft would closely resemble NASA’s yet-to-be built Orion spacecraft, an itself a carbon-copy of the American Apollo capsule.
Unlike the Soyuz, the Apollo and Orion consist of two rather than three modules: the conical command module and the barrel-shaped service module. The Soyuz features an additional habitation module, which provides a critical safety and other engineering advantages for the crew, according to many engineers.
Sources familiar with the Russian-European negotiations stressed that although two agencies had recommended the industry to concentrate on the “headlight” shape of the crew module for their future studies, door remained opened to alternative architectures.
Although a cone-shaped design is mostly associated with the American Apollo capsule, Soviet designers employed a similar configuration in the design of the heavy transport ship, known as TKS. As early as 2005, Moscow-based Khrunichev enterprise proposed to a follow-on version of the TKS transport ship as a base for the next-generation lunar ship. The vehicle would provide larger, more capable foundation for the future spacecraft then Soyuz. However representatives of RKK Energia, the Soyuz developer, were quick to point out shortcomings of the TKS: “We are not dismissing their (Khrunichev’s) ideas," says Nikolai Bryukhanov, RKK Energia’s leading engineer working on prospective space systems, "however let’s not forget that TKS is itself designed for (only) three people and, unlike us (RKK Energia), they haven’t really built it for a very long time.” The latter is probably the strongest argument – the last TKS reentry vehicle flew in the 1980s, while RKK Energia “eats and drinks” manned spaceflight for more than four decades.
As of beginning of 2008, a basic timeframe of the ACTS project called for additional studies of the spacecraft architecture to go on until the end of January. Then another high-level meeting of the industry and agency officials was tentatively expected in the first half of February 2008, with the hope to finally choose the architecture of the future spacecraft. It would be followed by negotiations on a basic framework for cooperation on the new vehicle. This effort would outline rights and responsibilities of two sides in the program. Both agencies still hope to present a cooperative proposal for the development of the ACTS spacecraft to a ministerial conference of countries-members of European Space Agency scheduled for the end of November 2008.
Come mai, dato che il futuro dei nostri astronauti sarà rivolto ad est, in Italia si guarda sempre ad ovest?
Non sarebbe il caso di cominciare a parlare maggiormente dei nostri amici Russi?
Una domanda per i veterani: Anatoly Zak, è attendibile?
saluti e buon futuro…