SpaceNews.com has more on the “golf-club bag” we’re devising for space station return deliveries:
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the nonprofit organization that manages the national laboratory portion of the ISS, announced Oct. 16 an agreement with Intuitive Machines LLC to support the company’s development of its Terrestrial Return Vehicle (TRV).
The TRV, company president Steve Altemus said in an Oct. 27 interview, came out of a desire to find ways to increase the utilization of the ISS. One barrier, he said, is the difficulty of returning samples from experiments on the station back to Earth. Today, only the Dragon spacecraft by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft can return items from the station, and the latter has limited cargo capability.
“We were talking inside NASA for a number of years about rapid sample return vehicles from ISS,” said Altemus, the former deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center who started Intuitive Machines last year. “What if we could return samples from the ISS on a nearly daily basis?”