Hermes Spaceplane was designed in the 1980’s by ESA (European Space Agency), however, it was cancelled in the early 1990’s for economic reasons. Hermes was to be launched by an Ariane-5. Its specifications were to carry a three-person crew with 2725 kg paylaod. In total, it was to weigh 19,070kg.
The Hermes Space Vehicle’s purpose was for transferring crews and equipment to spacestations, servicing unpiloted platforms and repairing satellites in orbit. Hermes was also intended to put scientific experiments in orbit during unpiloted flights.
The Hermes Spaceplane had a wingspan width of 10m (36ft) and length of 19m (62 ft). First launch of Hermes with astronauts was planned for 1997. It was sponsored primarily by the French Space Agency (CNES). The design had been primarily done by Aerospatiale.
The project was cancelled in 1992.
Please note that the Ariane-5 was fully developed and present it functions as a satellite launcher. The Ariane-5 was used to launch ESA’s ATV for carring cargo and propellant to the ISS (International Space Station).
Did you know?
Aerospatiale was a French state-owned aerospace manufacturer that built both civilian and military aircraft, rockets and satellites.
Related Space Books
Spaceplane HERMES: Europe’s Dream of Independent Manned Spaceflight
Spaceflight-A Smithsonian Guide by Valerie Neal, Cathleen S.Lewis, and Frank H. Winter, (c) 1995 Published by Prentice Hall Macmillian Company, ISBN 0-02-860007-X
Hermes Space Plane Links:
- JULY 1990, NASA TECH BRIEFS, VOL 14, NO 7: FRANCE: A LEADER IN SPACE
- The Manned Space and Microgravity Programmes: Man-Tended Free Flyer (MTFF), and the Polar Platform (PPF) – and to use the Ariane-5 launcher and the Hermes spaceplane for logistic flights.
- History: Hermes spaceplane, 1987 / ESA history
- The Future That Wasn’t: The Hermes Spaceplane: AmericaSpace
- Hermes: The European Spaceplane: False Steps
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