Neither wind nor rain nor meteor shall….
Okay so going to space no longer means you are out of touch. There’s e-mail and the internet and on-demand TV – all sorts of things really. But now I give you regular old touch it with your hands honest to goodness mail!
Usually the ISS mail or cargo that is making the return trip must wait around until the appropriate cargo return is scheduled. Only a few times a ears as often the return is meant for garbage that is burned up in the atmosphere or since the return is so rare allowing the scheduled cargo to board and waiting to see if there is enough room.
Welcome the TRV (Terrestrial Return Vehicle).
The TRV is the designed to be that delivery service that runs on demand. For those critical and/or perishable samples or experiment results that absolutely must make it to Earth by the next day, there is now same day or overnight delivery care of NASA & Intuitive Machines under CASIS (the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space).
Pictured below is the TRV system stored until it is called to duty then loaded up and placed in the JEM airlock (Japanese Experimental Module) which then ejects it using the Cyclops ejection mechanism and the JEM robotic manipulator is used to deploy it. After that the TRV’s own propulsion & navigation systems take over. A controlled re-entry is made, the vehicle then touches down at a previously agreed on location like a spaceport.
Perhaps one should take the old message to heart – but maybe add a few words!
“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor meteor, nor comet, nor CME, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”
Intuitive Machines says of the TRV that it has a lift to drag ratio that allows it to act as a lifting body and so the g’forces that act on it are far less than on a capsule and so it maintains enough control for the site specific landing.
"The scientific team will be able to much more efficiently adjust experimental parameters in response to results, exploit unique results, and correct problems encountered."
Is there anywhere the mail doesn't go?