Amazing images and animations of the russian ACTS
September 4, 2008

Today, I've found on the web some amazing hi quality images and animations of the (planned) russian Advanced Crew Transportation System (ACTS) images and animations designed by Anatoly Zak of RussianSpaceWeb, like this:

The Zak's ACTS article page has also several info about the story of this vehicle and the specs of the (planned) orbital and lunar missions ACTS versions.

The wrong point of this ACTS design is its small Service Module, that, in a lunar mission will have enough propellents only for TEI, while, for LOI it will need a second module and a second engine (a bigger EDS for TLI and LOI or a further, special LOI module) since it works exactly like the NASA Orion that needs the Altair engine and propellent for LOI.

Unfortunately, its small size and the (reduced if compared with an Apollo CSM) TEI-only capability, is due to a lack of heavy launchers able to carry more than 21 mT payloads to LEO; the possible ACTS launchers (Zenit, Proton and Ariane5) are able to carry a max payload between 19 mT and 21 mT and, all them, must be man-rated to launch it and the Launch Escape Tower that adds over 4 mT of mass.

So far no one country of the world has a launcher able to carry more than 24 mT (like the Space Shuttle and the Delta IV Heavy) and, also the Ares-1, will be able to lift less than 30 mT including the LAS.

Only the Ares-5 and the Ariane 5 Heavy (that's looks pretty close to MY ArianeX) will be able to carry bigger payloads (over 130 mT the Ares5 and over 50 mT the new Ariane 5 Heavy) and it's still unclear and unlikely that these two big beasts will be man-rated.

Last, it's STILL unclear to me WHY (both) NASA and RSA want to build their new Orion and ACTS capsules with a longer and smaller-diameter-than-capsule Service Module since this (very bad) design choice doesn't give any advantages, but, due to the SM fairing/cover, it's (at least) 0.5-1 mT heavier than a (simpler) SM/2nd stage adapter.

ACTS images and animations are © 2008 Anatoly Zak.

If you talk/discuss about this idea on forums, blogs, websites, magazines, newspapers
please acknowledge the source of the idea, putting a link to my article. Thank You.

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