credit ESA / caption: will we ever see the Advanced Reentry vehicle?

Sources close to the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)/Advanced Reentry Vehicle (ARV) team are telling Hyperbola that the November 2008 ESA ministerial meeting outcome was seen as catastrophic for the agency’s hopes for ARV operating before the International Space Station (ISS) is de-orbited, even with a 2020 end of life target, and a follow-on manned version of ARVWith an original proposal for a €300 million ($380 million) study budget for an ARV that could bring back experiments and other cargo from the ISS the actual outcome, funding of €21 million is less than 10%

Whether or not this means work will start in March as Hyperbola was told last July the information reaching this blog is that €20-odd million is not going to deliver down mass cargo capability for 2015

That means NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services programme and Commercial Resupply Services contracts better deliver or the down mass capability is going to be a case of ISS crew on EVA chucking stuff back at the Earth