A simple low cost way to send back research materials and commercial products made on a space station would be quite beneficial to LEO infrastructure. The Japanese HTV cargo vessel that just arrived at the ISS is carrying such a capsule that will be filled with such materials by the crew. When the HTV leaves the station, it will eject the capsule module, which has a heat shield to protect it during reentry and a parachute to provide a soft landing: This Small Japanese Re-Entry Capsule Is Ready for a Test Flight from Space Station
This cylindrical support (made exclusively for the HSRC) goes onto the hatch at the entry of HTV-7 spacecraft’s Pressurized Logistic Carrier (PLC) and makes sure the enclosure stays airtight when the hatch of the vehicle is left open, according to the space agency.
When HTV-7 undocks from the space station, the spacecraft will perform a deorbit burn to head toward Earth. Next, officials on Earth will command the release of HSRC from the vehicle, and the capsule will start re-entering our planet’s atmosphere. HSRC will splash down with a parachute.
The latest issue of The Lurio Report is titled BFR Lunar Trip, Paris Notes. Vol. 13, No. 9, September 21, 2018
Charles reviews the announcement that Yusaku Maezawa has reserved a BFR trip to the Moon. The cost of development of the BFR remains hazy but that is not necessarily a bad thing:
Musk estimated the price of developing BFR at $5 billion, adding that he’d be surprised if it were under $2 billion or over $10 billion. Some took the statement of this range as evidence that SpaceX doesn’t really know what it’s doing.
I take the opposite view, and tweeted that “it’s entirely consistent with SpaceX’s additive[/iterative] learning methods. Increases my confidence.”
Legacy launch companies remain reluctant to move to reusable systems as seen by a panel discussion at a recent conference:
Kirk Pysher, President of International Launch Services (ILS) which (primarily) sells launches on the Russian Proton, stated that “our customers don’t care about reusability as far as [sic] their launch is on time, reliable and at the right price point.” Well, I wouldn’t care about a disposable aircraft if I could get a ticket for the same price as on a reusable one.