Orion Lite won’t reduce NASA Russian dependence

by | Apr 14, 2010 | Seradata News | 2 comments

Reading about president Barack Obama’s decision to resurrect the Orion crew exploration vehicle as an escape capsule we are told (here and then here and in plenty of other articles) that this will reduce NASA’s dependence upon Russian crew transport services

This could not be more wrong. Russia has been providing all International Space Station (ISS) crew rotation flghts since STS-129, the last Shuttle flight to do that job in November last year

The ISS has six crew (yes Expedition 22 had only five crew) and for that Russia is providing four three-crew Energia Soyuz TMA spacecraft a year

Orion Lite will not launch crew, it launches unmanned for an automatic rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station and then sits there, but until when?

It is not needed for an emergency return. Soyuz have been docked to the station for the emergency return role ever since station has been inhabited. So Orion Lite is not reducing Russian flights to the station and it is simply not needed for the escape roleIf you were onboard ISS and needed to escape which vehicle would you want to get into, a Soyuz TMA or the Orion Lite? This blogger would take the tried and tested Soyuz every time

Previously we have been told that the original Orion had been baselined as a four crew vehicle. If that is still the case for Orion Lite then if both of those Soyuz capsules fail during this ISS emergency it looks like the mission commander (Captain always goes down with the ship, right?) and one other unluckly individual have a problem this blogger doesn’t want to contemplate

It is true that the US has been “responsible” for crew emergency return under the ISS framework agreement for some time. Originally the Space Shuttle ferried X-38 was to have done this job. It was cancelled by President George W. Bush much to the annoyance if not anger of NASA’s X-38 project partner the European Space Agency

This blog will investigate further into NASA’s ISS crew return responsibilities. Perhaps Orion Lite means NASA doesn’t have to pay some sort of crew transport premium on those $51 million, now $56 milion, seat prices, because Soyuz was not supposed to be an escape capsule

About Seradata

Seradata produces the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to https://www.seradata.com/product/

Related Articles

Categories

Archives

Tags

nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaspacewalkDGAaviation weekInternational Space StationaressoyuzIGTRocket LabBlue OriginBeidouawardsStarlinkspaceSatellite broadcastingAirbus DSrussiaboeingmoonOneWebCargo Return VehicleISROmarsblogresearchspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESthales alenia spacetourismbarack obamaconstellationfiguresnorthspaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiosuborbitaltestmissiledocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbitinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122ElectronSLSChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5Northrop Grummanmissile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010Long March 4CspaceportExpress AMU 1buildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttlescaled compositesIntelsat 23European Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldennew shepardLong March 2CInmarsatOrbital ATKcnesiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterkscApollolawsUS Air ForceSpace Systems/LoralUK Space AgencyLong March 4BKuaizhou 1AILSdarpaprotonTalulah RileyElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CNorth KoreaeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.