Airbus will build the world's first "interplanetary truck"


Today, as part of the Mars 2020 mission, the Perseverance rover was launched by the American space agency. Unlike Curiosity, which was sent to the Red Planet in 2012, Perseverance will not only look for possible signs of life on our neighbor in the solar system, but also collect samples of Martian soil, which will subsequently be delivered to Earth.


NASA and ESA are already working on the most difficult mission in the history of astronautics. So, on the eve it became known that the European concern Airbus Space will create a unique space orbiter called the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO). The latter will essentially become the first interplanetary cargo ship.

The signing of the corresponding contract between ESA and Airbus will take place in September. The total cost of the project will be $ 8,7 billion. At the same time, the share of the European Space Agency will amount to only 1,7 billion. The main "financial burden" will fall on NASA.

The participants in the ambitious project note that the upcoming mission will be the most difficult in the history of astronautics. Its essence is as follows: the newest research rover Perseverance will collect the necessary samples of Martian soil and place them in a special container. Then the rocket, delivered to NASA on the Red Planet along with the lander, will "pick up" the valuable cargo and put it into orbit.

Next, the aforementioned ERO device comes into play. It will "grab" the container, deliver it to Earth's orbit and load it into a special rocket capsule that will overcome the atmosphere and land in the American desert.

The launch of the first "space truck" is scheduled for 2026. Its weight will be 6,5 tons. Ion engines, which will require a large amount of energy, will be responsible for overcoming several million kilometers. The developers plan to solve this problem thanks to the huge solar panels, the total area of ​​which reaches 144 m². They will be arranged in three rows on the ERO wings, which will span 39 meters.
Photos Used: Airbus
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  1. cmonman Offline
    cmonman (Garik Mokin) 31 July 2020 13: 36
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    I want to clarify that in addition to the French company Airbus, the Italian Tales participates in the project.
    The rover weighs 6,5 tons. The scope of the mirrors is 35 m. The huge mirrors will give a sufficient amount of energy to the engines, which will make it possible to change the orbit when flying around Mars.

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-and-esa-outline-cost-of-mars-sample-return/

    Parker estimated the total cost of ESA's participation in the overall campaign to return samples to Mars at € 1,5 billion ($ 1,75 billion) over the next decade. ESA received the first third of this funding at the Space19 + ministerial meeting last November.

    Mars 2020 cost $ 2,4 billion to develop, and the agency budgeted $ 300 million for the mission's first Mars year - 687 Earth days - of operations. This will result in a total cost of returning a sample of Mars, including all three missions and contributions from both NASA and ESA, to at least $ 7bn.
    The estimate, Zurbuchen said, does not include the cost of the sample return facility, which will house the samples once they are returned to Earth for analysis. According to him, there will be opportunities for international cooperation in the development and use of this tool.

    Not a word about Russia's participation in the project or in the invitation. It can be seen that after Rogozin's words “we will not be on the sidelines” came a complete blackout of Russia on the part of foreign colleagues.
    1. 123 Offline
      123 (123) 1 August 2020 16: 43
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      Not a word about Russia's participation in the project or in the invitation. It can be seen that after Rogozin's words “we will not be on the sidelines” came a complete blackout of Russia on the part of foreign colleagues.

      Are you calling your compatriots foreign colleagues? laughing
      It's more careful with Italians, they are the weak link. Because of them, the launch of "ExoMars" was postponed for 2 years, they say, the guys do not have time. winked
      1. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 2 August 2020 12: 14
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        In Russia, you need to work on your own problems. In the coming period of the deepest crisis, a weak RF may drown, with such a rule ... You can always connect to promising areas, now it's just a waste to nowhere - to Mars, even to the Moon is more promising ...
        1. 123 Offline
          123 (123) 2 August 2020 12: 59
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          In Russia, you need to work on your own problems. In the coming period of the deepest crisis, the weak RF may drown, with such a rule ...

          These are general phrases and can be attributed to absolutely any country.

          You can always connect to promising areas, now it's just a waste to nowhere - to Mars, even to the LUNA is more promising.

          What projects would you like to join? To the American lunar program or the Chinese? By the way, does the name "ExoMars" mean anything to you?
          Perhaps more promising to Mars and the Moon, and maybe even more promising beyond the solar system. Do you think there is nothing to do in orbit?
          1. Vladimir Tuzakov (Vladimir Tuzakov) 2 August 2020 13: 08
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            That's when they find a "gold mine" there, then jerk at full steam ahead ... In the meantime, observe and keep your finger on the pulse ... This is always done by the more reasonable, less intelligent, such as the USSR, they spent on an empty bite, which was thrown by enemies ...
  2. Oleg Shlyapin Offline
    Oleg Shlyapin (oleg shlyapin) 8 August 2020 00: 31
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    ABOUT! This is a cool project! I love the theme of solar powered ion tugs.