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Reusable capsule ESA Space Rider will fly into orbit and back (3 photos)

Using reusable modules for space 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 design of the Space Rider reusable capsule, capable of delivering scientific equipment to and from space several times. The Space Rider is based on the ESA (IXV) experimental unmanned project, which performed a test flight in 2015 and successfully returned to Earth. The new capsule is based on the use of the IXV technical concept and has a multi-purpose cargo compartment opening into space, a new design of the landing mechanism, which allows for 5 or more repeated flights into space. The Space Rider capsule is launched from the launch module of the Vega-C rocket and is installed on the upper stage of the AVUM +, which provides control of the module and supplies 600 watts of power to it. In the cargo compartment of the Space Rider, you can place a payload of up to 800 kg and a volume of up to 1200 liters. During flight, the module can rotate in different directions to explore different sectors of outer space or the Earth. The Space Rider flight is designed for 2 months, after which the module independently leaves orbit, calculates the optimal angle of entry into the atmosphere. After braking due to friction in the dense layers of the atmosphere to a given speed, the parachute opens and landing occurs. Then, after maintenance, the module re-launches into space. Currently, all assessments of the performance of module systems have been carried out. The final analysis of the project and examination 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 experts.

Sam Richards

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