ERC Campaign  RSS

Earth Return Capsule Campaign

In June 2015, Vorticity will be flight testing six prototype Earth Return Capsules at the Swedish Space Centre in Kiruna, Sweden on behalf of the European Space Agency. The capsules are candidates for returning scientific samples from asteroids, comets or Mars in future ESA missions. These missions require capsules which are stable throughout entry and descent without the need for a parachute.

The ERC campaign

will require the release of drop-bodies (DTVs) from three separate balloons.
The aim is to provide  tests of three Earth re-entry capsule shapes, to validate the designs and provide a detailed aerodynamic characterization of the selected configurations via free flights by means of balloon drop tests.
A total of six capsules will be tested. The programme is managed by Vorticity Ltd on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA).

There will be three different test vehicles attached to a suspension bar.
The different vehicles comprise a full-scale ERC test vehicle and a SSHAPE test vehicle.

General information

Launch site Esrange Space Center
Launch date

1st drop test launched onJune 15

2nd droptest launched on June 21

3rd droptest launched on Aug 5

Mass/kg 503,2 kg
Balloon size Zodiac 50SF
Height Flight termination
at ~28 and ~35 km

Contact persons:

Mr. Mark Smith, Project Manager SSC

John Underwood, Vorticity Ltd 

Read more about the ERC-campaign

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