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Bassano E.,TELESPAZIO S.P.A | Savino R.,University of Naples Federico II | Lo Forti R.,L.E.S.S. | Ferrarotti A.,L.E.S.S. | And 5 more authors.
62nd International Astronautical Congress 2011, IAC 2011 | Year: 2011

This paper summarizes the results of the phase 0 of the IRENE research project, an Italian Space Agency (ASI) programme whose main objectives include design and development of a small re-entry spacecraft, by Italian SME (joined in the ALI consortium with the participation of Telespazio). The IRENE capsule main features are: 1) light weight capsule (200 Kg at launch and 120 kg at re-entry); 2) recoverable and reusable re-entry module; 3) large payload cargo capacity down to Earth (up to 40% of its re-entry mass); 4) very low ballistic coefficient and "wing" load; 4) a deployable aero-brake (umbrella-like, made by special multi-layered fabric) This article summarizes the missions scenario, re-entry issues analysis, preliminary system and sub-systems requirements and the development and test of a preliminary small scale demonstrator. In particular, among the possible mission scenarios, missions of Earth recovery of small payloads from the ISS and independent scientific microgravity/LEO missions were identified. A relatively large technological demonstrator has been developed and successfully tested in the SCIROCCO PWT (Plasma Wind Tunnel) at CIRA (Centra Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali), Capua, Italy. Copyright ©2010 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.

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