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astronautix.com ESA ACRV

ESA ACRV
ESA ACRV
ESA Crew Rescue Vehicle Studies.

Credit: ESA via Marcus Lindroos. 49,556 bytes. 640 x 479 pixels.


Nation: Europe. Agency: ESA.

As Hermés gradually faded into oblivion, the European Space Agency started to take a closer a look at cheaper and less complicated manned space capsules. An 'Ariane-X' crew rescue capsule was part of the preliminary European space station studies in the late 1980s, and the French and Italian aerospace industry also investigated unmanned concepts such as the 'Carina' version in 1990. 'Carina' was to have a diameter of 4 meters and would be launched on the Ariane-4 rocket. Its main mission was commercial microgravity experiments. The European Space Agency started a six-month Phase 1 'Assured Crew Return Vehicle' study in October 1992. Aerospatiale, Alenia Spazio and Deutsche Aerospace were prime contractors. In June 1993, the European Space Agency announced that a simpler manned space capsule would replace the Hermés manned spaceplane project.


CarinaCarina - ESA Crew Rescue Vehicle Studies. The CARINA microgravity capsule.

Credit: ESA via Marcus Lindroos. 50,359 bytes. 628 x 424 pixels.


The ACRV team investigated several concepts.

ESA cancelled the $1.7-billion ACRV project in late 1995 but still awarded a $66-million two year study contract to appease the French. The project's only direct legacy was the $60-million experimental sub-scale 'Atmospheric Re-entry Demonstrator' capsule which flew successfully in 1997. But the European Space Agency instead decided to join the American X-38 Crew Rescue Project, after the CRV Phase A study was completed in May 1996.


ESA Biconic CRVESA Biconic CRV - ESA Biconic Crew Rescue Vehicle. "Blunt Biconic" Crew Rescue Vehicle. The "blunt biconic" design shown here was briefly investigated during the follow-on crew rescue/transfer vehicle studies in 1993-94.

Credit: ESA via Marcus Lindroos. 52,791 bytes. 474 x 563 pixels.


Article by Marcus Lindroos
Specification



ESA ACRVESA ACRV

Credit: ESA via Marcus Lindroos. 34,523 bytes. 476 x 416 pixels.



ESA Viking CRVESA Viking CRV - ESA Viking Crew Rescue Vehicle. "Viking" Crew Rescue Vehicle (1994).

Credit: ESA via Marcus Lindroos. 25,361 bytes. 598 x 438 pixels.



ESA Viking CRVESA Viking CRV - ESA Viking Crew Rescue Vehicle. "Viking" Crew Rescue Vehicle (1996). The version shown here would use a cylindrical propulsion module derived from the Ariane Transfer Vehicle.

Credit: ESA via Marcus Lindroos. 40,801 bytes. 640 x 457 pixels.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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