Spaceplane HERMES

Europe's Dream of Independent Manned Spaceflight

  • Luc van den Abeelen

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Space Exploration book sub series (SPACEE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 79-100
  3. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 101-125
  4. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 127-145
  5. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 147-171
  6. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 217-241
  7. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 271-299
  8. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 333-358
  9. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 359-371
  10. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 373-382
  11. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 383-401
  12. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 417-433
  13. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 435-453
  14. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 455-472
  15. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 473-504
  16. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 527-552
  17. Luc van den Abeelen
    Pages 553-555
  18. Back Matter
    Pages 557-588

About this book


This is the first comprehensive book on the European Hermes program. It tells the fascinating story of how Europe aimed for an independent manned spaceflight capability which was to complement US and Soviet/Russian space activities.In 1975, France decided to expand its plans for automated satellites for materials processing to include the development of a small 10 ton spaceplane to be launched on top of a future heavy-lifting Ariane rocket. This Hermes spaceplane would give Europe its own human spaceflight capability for shuttling crews  between Earth and space stations.  The European Space Agency backed the proposal. Unfortunately, after detailed studies, the project was cancelled in 1993. If Hermes had been introduced into service, it could have become the preferred "space taxi" for ferrying crews to and from the International Space Station. But that opportunity was lost. This book provides the first look of the complete story of and reasons for the demise of this ambitious program. It also gives an account which pieces of Hermes survived and are active in the 2nd decade of the 21st century. This fascinating story will be a great read for space enthusiasts. But it will also serve as a comprehensive documentation of an important episode in the history of manned spaceflight.


Ariane Rocket Ariane V CNES ESA Challenger Accident and Human Space Flight Columbus Module Documenation of Space Project European Space Shuttle European Spaceplane HERMES Spaceplane Program Space taxi to ISS

Authors and affiliations

  • Luc van den Abeelen
    • 1
  1. 1.HilversumThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-44470-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-44472-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site