ArianeGroup presents Susie, a daring reusable scenario for everything, including manned flights!

At the International Astronautical Congress held in Paris, ArianeGroup presented its vision of future space transportation and its solution to face it. It will be Susie, a fully reusable, intelligent floor plan that will meet transportation and mission needs to and in space for decades to come. But, we can talk about “floor” when we see all that Susie will be able to achieve… Our explanations.

What weeks before the European Space Agency Ministerial Conference (THISTHIS), where future European space programs will be decided, ArianeGroup took advantage of the 73me edition of the International Congress ofastronauticsastronautics (IAC) to present a bold totally reusable flooring project. Susie is her name, an acronym for Smart upper stage for innovative exploration it is a commitment to the future because, underlines ArianeGroup, it is designed to ” meet future transportation and mission needs to and in space “.

Therefore, this concept aims to support the European space challenges of the coming decades and the expected boom in the space economy that will result in an intensification of the use oforbitorbit and the fact that space activities will no longer be limited to low and geostationary orbit. New uses and new activities will take us to the Moon and Mars. ArianeGroup is also aware that Europe’s space transportation capabilities in service or under development seem insufficient to meet these future needs by 2030. Hence Susie.

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From the in-depth study of these future needs in mattermatter transport and services in orbit, and on the need for a profound change in the logic of access to space, ArianeGroup proposes this audacious concept. In doing so, it also makes the decision that tomorrow, orbiting space transportation will be less direct to the final destination than if it is first delivered to an intermediate orbit followed by a transfer to the final destination. In this new logic, pitcherspitchers it will serve low Earth orbit and a new orbit beyond the Van Allen belts, called the “parking orbit.” From these orbits, space vehicles would take over to reach final destinations. ” Susie wants to be a part of this future space transportation system. resilientresilient and scalable, ensuring missions in space and the return to earth of goods and humans », emphasizes Morena Bernardini, Director of Strategy and Innovation at ArianeGroup.

A real Swiss army knife of space transportation

As ArianeGroup details in its releaseSusie introduces herself as a “ flexible, modular, safe, reliable and totally reusable vehicle “. It will be capable of carrying out a very wide variety of missions, from automated freighter to transport cargo and payloads, to manned missions with a crew of up to five astronauts. As expected, due to the wide variety of missions that it can carry out, Susie will be designed to be able to evolve and meet future needs, or fulfill new missions.Thus, in terms of exploration, this stage will be able to carry out long-distance missions, in particular to reach lunar orbit, thanks to its ability to receive a space transfer module, providing propulsion and power supply. EnergyEnergy and in airair for the crew.

This project is very daring because it has no equivalent in development and even less in service. But, if several hard points have already been identified, Morena Bernardini, director of strategy and innovation at ArianeGroup wants to be reassuring about the ability of European manufacturers to achieve this. ” This is a project that is based on all the existing know-how in ArianeGroup and within the European industry. It is consistent with current or future technological developments in terms of space transportation and reuse. This idea of ​​a reusable upper stage has been on the minds of European leaders, including Daniel Neuenschwander, director of space transportation at the European Space Agency, who explained to us a few weeks ago that ” various options and concepts are under study, one of which foresees the recovery and reuse of an upper floor. Europe must absolutely move forward with ambition in this area”!

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If the ESA gives its firefire green to this project to make it compatible with Ariadne 6Ariadne 6in its version 1.0, Susie will look like a vehicle 12 meters long, five meters wide and equipped with an interior compartment of one volumevolume 40m3. With a doughdough 25 tons, Susie will be compatible with the low-orbit performance Ariane 64 (the four-propellant version) and aboard a future generation of launchers. A clarification that is important when it is known that the durationduration The life of Ariane 6 will be much shorter than that ofAriadne 5for ArianeGroup to take into account the hypothesis of a commission from Susie after Ariane 6.

Project Susie proposed in a favorable geopolitical and economic spatial context

What will happen to this project? It is not the first time that an industrialist or a group has proposed an innovative project to the European Space Agency. But, if every time the Member States contacted each other or politely rejected the project, the Susie stage was set in a much more promising context with new “spatial-strategic” bets and a considerably changed low-orbit context, so that guaranteeing access becomes an important economic and geopolitical issue. Furthermore, at the beginning of the year, Josef Aschbacher, director general of the European Space Agency, advocated a European capacity in the field of space transportation, whether to send astronauts or goods.

In conclusion, ArianeGroup is certain to watch the ministerial conference of the ESA, which will be held in November, which will be held in February 2023. Lors de cette réunion at high level, the European governments are appealed to pronounce over one manned version of Ariane 6, or even a future manned space transportation system, following the mandate given to ESA to study the issue, during the space summit in Toulouse in February this year. It will continue then.

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