Thursday, June 8, 2023

Towards Every European Country's Own Crewed Spaceflight.

 Copyright 2023 Robert Clark


 In my blog post, "Who in European space will ask the impertinent question: How much would it cost to add a second Vulcain to the Ariane 5/6?", I noted the reason why ESA is using the more expensive solid rocket boosters rather than just adding another Vulcain is political. The majority of the development funds and the revenues from launches go to those ESA member states producing the solids, more than the amount going to all the other member states combined. If those solids were no longer used that majority of funds would drop down to nearly nothing.

 So that‘s a severe political problem for the other member states who might want to go to an all-liquid propulsion form for the Ariane 6. But there may be a way to get there anyway. If a member state wanted to spend their own money to build a prototype Ariane 6 core using two Vulcains how could other member states prevent it? It’s their own money. They can spend it anyway they want. Remember quite key to why this is approach is preferable is because how low cost the development costs would be. The example of JAXA adding a second hydrolox engine to the H-II core for ca. $200 million(27 billion Yen) demonstrates this:

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 In point of fact it’s probably even cheaper than this just to add the second engine. The transition from the H-IIa to the H-IIb actually involved multiple systems:

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 Then conceivably the development cost just for adding the engine only might be only $100 million or less. But when there is no multi-billion dollar development cost, any of the ESA member states could afford to add an additional engine to an Ariane 5/6 core on their own. It’s so low that even the member states that already spent billions developing the solids could also adapt a Ariane core to have two Vulcains at this low cost.

 At such a low development cost and each per rocket cost being even lower than the Falcon 9 each ESA member state could have their own independent all-liquid Ariane launchers. And each ESA member state could have their own independent manned flight capable rockets.

  Robert Clark

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