ARV: Europe’s space ferry
With ATV’s cargo hold replaced by a re-entry capsule equipped with a heatshield, the Advanced Re-entry Vehicle will be able to bring back hundreds of kilograms of cargo and valuable experiments.
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This is great ! But I wonder whether the project is still in the works, given the budgetary problems of several space agencies. Is it ? (Please say it is…) This would be a very useful improvement to the current version of the ATV and nicely pave way to an actual manned vehicle. I think ESA really needs to be independent even in manned flights. If they were able to build a high-quality resupply ship, they'll be able to build a manned version sooner or later.
I totally agree. This is an ideal way to get from the ATV (too bad it ends) to a European manned spacecraft.