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Hope
Hope -

Credit: NASDA. 12,387 bytes. 192 x 288 pixels.



Class: Spaceplane. Nation: Japan. Agency: NASDA.

Like Europe, the National Space Development Agency had big plans to develop a large carrier rocket and manned 'H2 Orbiting Plane' (HOPE). Plans in 1986-87 were for a the final, manned follow-on version in the early 21st century. It would carry a crew of four astronauts. The HOPE development plan included OREX to demonstrate thermal protection and atmospheric re-entry systems; ALFLEX to test the HOPE-X low-speed aerodynamic and landing systems; and HYFLEX to demonstrate hypersonic flight. The end goal was a fully reusable aerospace plane / space transportation system.

A major difference between the European Hermés program and HOPE was that the Japanese favoured a phased approach, first building a smaller unmanned version before doing a larger manned mini-shuttle. Thus, the early goal was to design a robotic spaceplane capable of transporting a few tonnes of unmanned cargo and experiments to the International Space Station. Another important mission would be to fly independent missions with microgravity experiments in the spacecraft's small cargo bay. The Japanese regarded a small H-2-launched orbital spaceplane as the logical first step towards ultimately developing a fully reusable 'aerospace plane.'

The Japanese originally planned to develop separate version for initial technology tests and Space Station resupply. However, in 1997 the National Space Development Agency decided that the $830 million Hope-X unmanned experimental spaceplane might be modified for operational resupply flights to ISS, rather than build separate vehicles for testing and operations. The additional cost might be $292 million vs. $2.9 million for the full-scale 22t HOPE follow-on project. Budget constraints later forced a $690 million reduction, to $4.22 billion, in the five-year spending period 1998-2002. In 1998 the Japanese slipped the first Hope-X launch by three years, to 2003. By this time NASDA had spent $305 million since the project was approved ten years earlier.


NASDA Hope - 1988NASDA Hope - 1988 - The HOPE development plan as it appeared in the late 1990s. Important elements besides HOPE include OREX to demonstrate thermal protection and atmospheric reentry systems, ALFLEX to test the HOPE-X low-speed aerodynamic and landing systems, and HYFLEX to demonstrate hypersonic flight. The end goal is a fully reusable aerospace plane / space transportation system.

Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos. 47,252 bytes. 680 x 415 pixels.


Article by Marcus Lindroos
Specification

Total Length: 16.5 m. Maximum Diameter: 5.0 m. Total Mass: 13,000 kg. Total Payload: 2,000 kg. Total Propellants: 1,000 kg.



NASDA Hope - 1988NASDA Hope - 1988 - Like Europe, the National Space Development Agency had big plans to develop a large carrier rocket and manned "H2 Orbiting Plane" (HOPE). These illustrations from 1986-87 show the final, manned follow-on version planned for the early 21st century. It would carry a crew of four astronauts.

Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos. 27,321 bytes. 515 x 441 pixels.



NASDA Hope - 1987NASDA Hope - 1987 - NASDA H-2/Hope - 1987.

Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos. 10,407 bytes. 105 x 475 pixels.



NASDA Hope-X - 1990sNASDA Hope-X - 1990s - This illustration shows a small pressurized module in the Hope cargo bay, probably a Space Station resupply mission.

Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos. 57,971 bytes. 631 x 477 pixels.



NASDA Hope-X - 1992NASDA Hope-X - 1992 - NASDA Hope-X - 1990S. HOPE-X enters orbit.

Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos. 37,139 bytes. 625 x 332 pixels.



NASDA Hope-X - 1996NASDA Hope-X - 1996 - NASDA Hope-X - 1990S. HOPE-X in 1996.

Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos. 49,211 bytes. 613 x 463 pixels.



NASDA Hope-X - 1993NASDA Hope-X - 1993 - NASDA Hope-X - 1990S. HOPE-X in orbit (1993). An important mission (shown here) would be to fly independent missions with microgravity experiments in the spacecraft's small cargo bay.

Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos. 25,607 bytes. 534 x 365 pixels.



Hope SpaceplaneHope Spaceplane

Credit: NASDA. 16,335 bytes. 394 x 248 pixels.



Hope SpaceplaneHope Spaceplane

Credit: NASDA. 32,851 bytes. 394 x 359 pixels.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .