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Space Exploration

Spaceplane HERMES

Europe's Dream of Independent Manned Spaceflight

Authors: van den Abeelen, Luc

  • Presents the first comprehensive book on Hermes: technology and history of the European spaceplane program
  • Provides the complete story of Hermes and the reasons for the demise of this ambitious space technology program
  • Carefully investigated by studying the original archives and supported by interviews with the key people involved in the program
  • Provides a detailed description of the evolution of the design to accommodate changing requirements
  • Gives an account of which pieces of technolgy developed for Hermes do survive today, in the 2nd decade of the 21st century, like in ARIANE 5 or ESA's IXV re-entry test vehicle
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Buy this book

eBook $34.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-44472-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $44.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-44470-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This is the first comprehensive book on the European Hermes program. It tells the fascinating story of how Europe aimed for an independent manned spaceflight capability which was to complement US and Soviet/Russian space activities. In 1975, France decided to expand its plans for automated satellites for materials processing to include the development of a small 10 ton spaceplane to be launched on top of a future heavy-lifting Ariane rocket. This Hermes spaceplane would give Europe its own human spaceflight capability for shuttling crews between Earth and space stations. The European Space Agency backed the proposal. Unfortunately, after detailed studies, the project was cancelled in 1993. If Hermes had been introduced into service, it could have become the preferred "space taxi" for ferrying crews to and from the International Space Station. But that opportunity was lost. This book provides the first look of the complete story of and reasons for the demise of this ambitious program. It also gives an account which pieces of Hermes survived and are active in the 2nd decade of the 21st century. This fascinating story will be a great read for space enthusiasts. But it will also serve as a comprehensive documentation of an important episode in the history of manned spaceflight.

About the authors

Luc van den Abeelen’s first publication was in Spaceflight magazine in 1987 on the subject of the Mir space station. He continued the Soviet/Russian theme of his writing and in 1999, wrote on the historical theme of the Soviet Lunar landing program, and, in the same year, in JBIS on the history of later planned Soviet Lunar mission. For the past 15 years, he has contributed commentary on current space events on national Dutch radio and television.

Reviews

“Spaceplane HERMES is a very thorough book on the long history of the European quest to develop an independent human spaceflight capability. … this reviewer views this book as an example of what works and what does not and how politics, diplomacy, funding, and technical challenges play into the development of complex international space systems. Overall, this book is appropriate for any individual with an interest in space history. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; professionals and general readers.” (D. B. Spencer, Choice, Vol. 57 (11), July, 2017)

“A great book! A necessary book! … For me the book in its chronological order and panoramic picture of all the managerial, technological, and political aspects of the Hermes project lets me fill in many gaps and leads to a better understanding of decisions which were not clear at all at the time. … the book demonstrates the dream is alive and hopefully the next generation of politicians, managers and engineers will be educated by this ‘historical’ book.” (Joachim J. Kehr, Journal of Space Operations & Communicator, opsjournal.org, Vol. 4 (1), January, 2017)


Table of contents (26 chapters)

  • Origins: Re-entry Vehicles and Orbital Factories (1946–1983)

    van den Abeelen, Luc

    Pages 1-26

  • Getting Serious: CNES Develops a Concept (1983–1985)

    van den Abeelen, Luc

    Pages 27-52

  • One or the Other: Selecting the Prime Contractor (1985)

    van den Abeelen, Luc

    Pages 53-77

  • Safety Rethink: The Challenger Accident (1986)

    van den Abeelen, Luc

    Pages 79-100

  • The Road Not Taken: CNES Decides Against Maia (1987)

    van den Abeelen, Luc

    Pages 101-125

Buy this book

eBook $34.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-44472-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $44.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-44470-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Spaceplane HERMES
Book Subtitle
Europe's Dream of Independent Manned Spaceflight
Authors
Series Title
Space Exploration
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-44472-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-44472-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-44470-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXII, 588
Number of Illustrations and Tables
90 b/w illustrations, 97 illustrations in colour
Topics