Europe is falling behind in Space - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15181696
European Space Agency is still not using reusable rockets unlike Space X and the Chinese. The Russians still rely on Sojus rocket developed in the 1950's with a bit modification but no real brake through.

I think Europe needs a privatisation program to keep up with the world powers.
#15188819
The Russians work already on the Amur rocket which should be in 2026 in operation, a reusable Sojus-rocket is also in discussion.


Russia is getting into the reusable rocket game.

The nation's space agency, Roscosmos, announced last week that it aims to develop a two-stage rocket called the Amur, whose first stage will return to Earth for vertical, powered landings like those performed by SpaceX's Falcon 9 boosters.

Indeed, the Amur bears a remarkable resemblance to the Falcon 9, down to the stabilizing grid fins on the rocket's first stage and the desire to launch each booster up to 100 times eventually.

There are differences, however. For example, the Amur will be considerably smaller and less powerful than the Falcon 9, standing just 180 feet (55 meters) tall with the ability to loft 11.6 tons (10.5 metric tons) of payload to low-Earth orbit (LEO). The Falcon 9 is 230 feet (70 m) tall and can deliver 25.1 tons (22.8 metric tons) to LEO, according to the rocket's SpaceX spec sheet.

The Amur's first stage will feature five engines, according to the Roscosmos announcement, compared to the Falcon 9's nine. And whereas the Falcon 9's Merlin engines are powered by liquid oxygen and kerosene, those of the Amur — which have yet to be built — will swap kerosene out for methane. (There are yet more SpaceX parallels here, though: SpaceX's next-generation Raptor engine, which will power the company's Starship vehicle, is methane-fueled.)

The Amur will launch from Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia's Amur region (hence its name). Landings of the reusable first stage will take place at several sites, which are still being determined, Roscosmos officials said. The agency is currently not planning to conduct any touchdowns on floating platforms, as SpaceX does with its two "drone ships," because the neighboring Sea of Okhotsk is notoriously rough. But that option will remain open going forward.


https://www.space.com/russia-announces- ... ocket-amur.

#15188821
@Sandzak


Russians trying to catch up to the U.S. Competition is a good thing and brings progress. Europe needs to get on the ball. China is definitely in the game right now. Of course, I am in USA's cheering corner. Right now USA is leading the pact in the space race given we have reusable rockets and the rest of the world doesn't. I expect Russia to eventually get them though and most likely eventually Europe and China.
#15188836
Sandzak wrote:European Space Agency is still not using reusable rockets unlike Space X and the Chinese. The Russians still rely on Sojus rocket developed in the 1950's with a bit modification but no real brake through.

I think Europe needs a privatisation program to keep up with the world powers.


That Europe is falling behind in space is evident to everybody except to the European political leadership... or maybe they see that too, but they have other priorities.

Here i see two main problems:
1. The overall budget is lower than in the US. I don't know the exact figures, but i remember that space industry employed in EU 1/3 of the people it employs in the US. If we look at the money, the figures are likely to be even more unbalanced. (though, ESA is traditionally more "efficient" than NASA in spending the money)
2. European space industry is a construct of political agreements between the different EU-states, which makes more (politically) difficult pushing reforms to move away from the traditional concepts and foster potentially disruptive private initiatives. There is something ongoing in Germany (the largest country) e.g. Isar Space or RFA, but it has yet to be seen whether this can scale up.
#15188842
Varilion wrote:That Europe is falling behind in space is evident to everybody except to the European political leadership... or maybe they see that too, but they have other priorities.


Europe should focus on the things it does well, namely space science. I don't think anybody can compete with SpaceX at the moment, least of all a bureaucratic government program. Hell even Bezos cannot keep up.

Varilion wrote:Here i see two main problems:
1. The overall budget is lower than in the US. I don't know the exact figures, but i remember that space industry employed in EU 1/3 of the people it employs in the US. If we look at the money, the figures are likely to be even more unbalanced. (though, ESA is traditionally more "efficient" than NASA in spending the money)
2. European space industry is a construct of political agreements between the different EU-states, which makes more (politically) difficult pushing reforms to move away from the traditional concepts and foster potentially disruptive private initiatives. There is something ongoing in Germany (the largest country) e.g. Isar Space or RFA, but it has yet to be seen whether this can scale up.


1. Yes, though if you count all the national space agency budgets, it's not THAT far behind. NASA budget is $22.6bn. ESA budget is 6.5bn euros + CNES budget 2.8bn euros + DLR budget 3.8bn euros + ASI budget 2bn euros etc. However the space industry is definitely smaller in Europe.
2. True, although that applies also to the US to a certain extent, where pork barrell programs like SLS/Orion (dubbed the "Senate launch system") are hugely expensive and slow because their primary purpose is to provide benefits to individual states, not to get anything done.

Sandzak wrote:The Russians work already on the Amur rocket which should be in 2026 in operation, a reusable Sojus-rocket is also in discussion.


Russia has a lot of rocket plans that go nowhere. How is this different?
#15188857
Rugoz wrote:Europe should focus on the things it does well, namely space science. I don't think anybody can compete with SpaceX at the moment, least of all a bureaucratic government program. Hell even Bezos cannot keep up.



Did Elon Musk get subsidise???



Russia has a lot of rocket plans that go nowhere. How is this different?



Tsirkon is nearly 10 000 km/h fast. The nuclear powered rocket exploded and contamined radioctive a Siberian city.
#15188861
Not sure what caveman understanding people have here about space race or exploration of space but launching and making new rockets is not something special anymore.

Nowadays it is about cost-efficiency and scientific research. The industry is slowly moving in to private realm which is very good. US and EU are the frontrunners as usually. SpaceX and other companies are based in US and Europe. The majority of space based research telescopes and equipment and so on is produced in Europe and US.
#15188864
We're already in Space, that race is over...

They've put their money into things like CERN. We started on a supercollider project, but Republicans..

There will be a new race, to mine the Moon, but it hasn't started yet. The smart thing to do would be to form an international group (an agency would be even better) to put together the resources of the EU, the US, India, and anybody else that wants to join.
#15188869
@late

There is a race to go to the moon and Mars both. And I think it would benefit humanity to have friendly competition between Europe, US, Russian and China. It pushes everybody to do their best. I expect the Russians to develop reusable rockets. I think Europe is able to as well if they put the invest the money in it. They certainly have the talent to do it. China could probably do so as well.
#15188872
Politics_Observer wrote:
@late

There is a race to go to the moon and Mars both. And I think it would benefit humanity to have friendly competition between Europe, US, Russian and China. It pushes everybody to do their best. I expect the Russians to develop reusable rockets. I think Europe is able to as well if they put the invest the money in it. They certainly have the talent to do it. China could probably do so as well.



Not really.

I don't think Mars will happen, and while I am in favor of sending better instrument packages, if we don't increase NASA's budget several times over, that money would be better spent elsewhere.

We're going back to the Moon, but the first time it wasn't part of a long term plan, and this seems to be the same. When China gets serious about mining the Moon, we will suddenly discover there's an actual reason to go.

Space is expensive, and each step is more expensive than the last. We will need international teamwork to pull it off.
#15189006
Sandzak wrote:Did Elon Musk get subsidise???


It won NASA contracts and R&D cooperation.

SpaceX wouldn't exist without NASA, but at the same time SpaceX created the demand (from NASA and others) by being cheaper and faster than the competition.
#15189014
Rugoz wrote:Europe should focus on the things it does well, namely space science. I don't think anybody can compete with SpaceX at the moment, least of all a bureaucratic government program. Hell even Bezos cannot keep up.

I do not agree with this. Obviously SpaceX is ahead of competition and for sure it is not with an SLS-Like program that we (the Europeans) will go anywhere. But i consider to be a long term strategic imperative to be able to access space with state of art technologies and have human spaceflight capability.

As for the budget, in the US you should consider that there is also money from the DoD pouring into space programs, doing research, and allowing a better "economy of scale". While in Europe the jeopardization of funds from the different agencies makes them less effective.

It is absolutely true what you mentioned about the "pork barrell" approach, widespread also in the US. But here in Europe we have reached a completely different level, institutionalizing the practice and calling it "geographic return". But then you see... in the US you need to win (or buy) a general consensus for funding some program. In Europe you need to get the backing of each and every state or they just won't put the money - and then put this together with the lust of some countries for state owned enterprises...
#15189158
Varilion wrote:I do not agree with this. Obviously SpaceX is ahead of competition and for sure it is not with an SLS-Like program that we (the Europeans) will go anywhere. But i consider to be a long term strategic imperative to be able to access space with state of art technologies and have human spaceflight capability.


The Ariane program will continue and a partially reusable version is in development (Prometheus/Themis/Ariane Next). Of course Ariane Next should have been Ariane 6, but I suppose the lobby for solid rockets was too strong and SpaceX wasn't taken seriously enough.

I don't think ESA should pursue human spaceflight or fund a vehicle like Starship. It would be bloody expensive and bring little benefit other than national pride, if there's even such a thing in Europe.

Meanwhile ESA still lags behind NASA when it comes to solar system exploration, which is a shame.

Varilion wrote:It is absolutely true what you mentioned about the "pork barrell" approach, widespread also in the US. But here in Europe we have reached a completely different level, institutionalizing the practice and calling it "geographic return". But then you see... in the US you need to win (or buy) a general consensus for funding some program. In Europe you need to get the backing of each and every state or they just won't put the money - and then put this together with the lust of some countries for state owned enterprises...


I think with Ariane 6 they designed the rocket first and then asked member states to contribute according to their industry share, which is better than the other way round. I.e. starting with the contributions and then trying to find suppliers in each member state according to its contribution.
#15194896


The Soyuz lander landed safely few days ago with actress Yulia Peresild, director Klim Shipenko and cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky who returned from the ISS, showing that Russia is a clear winner. The Space Race was a 20th-century competition between two Cold War adversaries to achieve superior spaceflight capability as part of the ballistic missile-based nuclear arms race between the two nations. Since Europe had no plan to deploy its own ICBMs to target Russia or China as the region was covered by the nuclear umbrella, there was no point in competing with the superpowers in the Space Race. Prince William voiced his strong disapproval of a new space race. The UK government is just hoping that the private sector can empower British space businesses to innovate and grow, while positioning the UK at the forefront of international space research. China belatedly joined the Space Race. China is the second country to land and operate a rover on the red planet after the US, which is reminiscent of the Cold War.
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