CNES Searches for the Rocket Propellant of the Future

Ariane Ultimate (Credits: CNES)

PARIS (CNES PR) — With a view to preparing for the future, the development of new dense and energetic propellants (HEDM) is one of the avenues to be explored to optimize the performance of launchers.

(more…)

ispace Europe, ArianeGroup and ESA to Assess Commercial Partnership for Lunar Transportation Services

LUXEMBOURG, December 10 (ispace PR) – ispace Europe (ispace EU), the European subsidiary of ispace, inc., and ArianeGroup have been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to participate in a pilot phase aiming to establish commercial partnerships in Europe for lunar transportation and exploration. ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Wednesday, November 24, with ispace EU and ArianeGroup. This marks the official start of the pilot phase.

During this phase, the ispace EU-ArianeGroup partnership will undertake business, technical and socio-economic evaluations of their lunar transportation service, which will ultimately be presented to an ESA evaluation panel; the companies are seeking a decision from ESA by Summer 2022. If endorsed by the Panel and further confirmed by ESA Member States, ispace EU and ArianeGroup could become a vetted candidate to transport ESA payloads to the Moon.

(more…)

Test Tanks Fueled for ESA’s Themis Reusable First Stage

ESA is taking the first steps towards the in-flight demonstration of a prototype reusable rocket first stage called Themis from 2023 onwards. (Credit: ArianeGroup)

VERNON, France (ESA PR) — Recently completed tests of two propellant tanks set a first technological milestone in the ESA reusability roadmap towards the demonstration of a reusable first stage vehicle called Themis.

(more…)

Last Call: Fly Your Payload on First Ariane 6 Launch

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA offers an opportunity for payloads and experiments to ride on board the first flight of Ariane 6 planned in 2022. Notice of interest should reach ESA by 15 November.

(more…)

Ariane 5 Launches Largest Payload into Geostationary Transfer Orbit

Ariane 5 lifts off on Oct. 23, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace – ESA -CNES)
  • For its 11th launch of the year, the second using Ariane 5, Arianespace orbited two geostationary satellites: SES-17, a telecommunications satellite operated by SES, and SYRACUSE 4A, a telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. Thales Alenia Space manufactured both.
  • For its 111th launch, Ariane 5 executed the highest performing flight by any launcher to geostationary transfer orbit: with two payloads on board, SES-17 and SYRACUSE 4A, with a total mass of 10264 kg, Ariane 5 achieves a world record for injection into this orbit. This launch also included a 1.5 m extension placed under the long fairing in order to adapt it to the specific needs of its two passengers.

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — On Sunday, October 24, at 02:10 UTC, Ariane 5 lifted off from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, successfully orbiting two satellites built by Thales Alenia Space: SES-17, a telecommunications satellite operated by SES, and SYRACUSE 4A, a telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.

(more…)

Ariane 5 Launch Postponed

Ariane 5 VA254 lifts off on July 30, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Due to additional checks on the ground support equipment, the flight VA255 – initially scheduled for October 22 – has been scrubbed. Investigations are ongoing in order to identify a new launch date. The Ariane 5 launch vehicle and its two spacecraft are in stable and safe conditions on the launch pad.

Arianespace will orbit two geostationary satellites: SES-17, a high throughput satellite operated by SES and SYRACUSE 4A, a telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of Armed Forces.

(more…)

Ariane 6 Launch Complex Inaugurated at Europe’s Spaceport

A time lapse was filmed under the stars on the Ariane 6 launch base at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — The new launch complex built for Europe’s upcoming Ariane 6 rocket is inaugurated at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

With this, ESA celebrates another important milestone in the Ariane 6 roadmap as it forges ahead with combined tests between launch vehicle and launch base and preparations towards the first launch campaign.

(more…)

DLR Lampoldshausen Makes the P5 Test Stand Fit for the Engine Technologies of the Future

Installation of the methane tank in the ESA test stand P5. [Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]
  • The DLR is strengthening and modernizing its test infrastructure at the Lampoldshausen site with the renovation and expansion of the ESA large test bench P5.
  • The installation of a methane tank is an important milestone.
  • This means that tests of rocket propulsion systems with the fuel combination of liquid oxygen and methane will also be possible in the future.
  • The commissioning of the converted ESA test bench P5 is planned for 2022.

LAMPOLDSHAUSEN, Germany (DLR PR) — The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is making a central component of its extensive test infrastructure fit for the future: It expands the ESA large test bench P5 at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen. In this way, the next generation of space propulsion systems can also be tested flexibly and reliably.

(more…)

ispace Unveils Next Generation Lunar Lander for its 3rd Lunar Mission Targeting 2024 Launch

ispace’s Series 2 lunar lander. (Credit: ispace)

The lander, larger in size and payload design capacity, is planned to be designed and manufactured in the US

Colorado Springs, Colo. (ispace PR) – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace) unveiled its next generation lunar lander, Series 2, which the company plans to first use for its third lunar mission (Mission 3), as well as subsequent future missions. Standing at approximately 9 ft tall and 14 ft wide (approx. 2.7 m tall by 4.2 m wide), including its legs, it is larger in both size and customer payload design capacity than ispace’s first-generation lander model, Series 1, which the company is developing for its first and second missions.

(more…)

Rocket Tanks of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic Proven Possible

MT Aerospace tested the strength of a subscale tank made from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic. (Credit: MT Aerospace)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Future rockets could fly with tanks made of lightweight thanks to ground-breaking research carried out within ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme.

Building on earlier studies, MT Aerospace in Germany has demonstrated a novel design of a small scale tank made of a unique carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) that is not only leak-proof with liquid hydrogen, but also compatible with liquid oxygen, without the use of a metal liner.

(more…)

ispace Begins Final Assembly of Lunar Lander Flight Model Ahead of First Mission

Hakuto-R spacecraft (Credit: ispace)

TOKYO (ispace PR) –- Today, ispace announced that it began the assembly of the flight model for its lunar lander, which is to be used in the company’s first mission scheduled to launch in 2022. This is a major engineering milestone in the development of the lander and part of the final stretch toward our first mission.

(more…)

Arianespace to Launch Two Telecom Satellites into Geostationary Orbit on July 30

Ariane 5 launches on Feb. 18, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • The sixth Arianespace launch of 2021 with the first Ariane 5 of the year, scheduled for July 30, will orbit two geostationary telecommunications satellites, Star One D2 and EUTELSAT QUANTUM.
     
  • This VA254 mission for two long-standing customers clearly reflects the excellence of Arianespace’s services and relations of mutual trust with its customers.

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace’s next Ariane 5 launch from the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in Kourou, French Guiana, is scheduled for Friday, July 30, during a launch window from 21:00 to 22:30 UTC. Initially planned for July 27, the mission was rescheduled after a revision to the preparation schedule.

(more…)

ArianeGroup wins ESA’s “ASTRIS” Competition for More Versatile Ariane 6

Astris kick stage for Ariane 6. (Credit: ArianeGroup)
  • In the framework of the Ariane 6 Competitiveness Improvement Programme, the European Space Agency has appointed ArianeGroup as prime contractor for the development of a complementary stage for Ariane 6, the “ASTRIS” kickstage.
  • ArianeGroup development activities are worth €90 million [US $106.2 million]
  • Developed by ArianeGroup in Germany, ASTRIS is a true additional stage, called a “kick-stage”, that will further increase the versatility of Ariane 6 and enhance performance for new types of mission
  • Powered by the BERTA engine with storable propellants, ASTRIS will increase the capability to inject satellites directly into geostationary orbit (GEO), allow electrically-powered satellites to reach their orbits in a few hours instead of in a few months, and facilitate missions to the Moon and deep space
  • The first Ariane 6 mission equipped with the ASTRIS kick-stage is scheduled for 2024

BREMEN, Germany (ArianeGroup PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA), as part of its Ariane 6 Competitiveness Improvement Program, has chosen ArianeGroup to develop and build a complementary stage (kick-stage) for Ariane 6, called ASTRIS, which will enable Arianespace, operator of the new European launcher to place with even greater efficiency a larger number of payloads in different orbits, or to inject satellites into geostationary orbit (GEO).

(more…)

New PHOEBUS Contract Paves Way for Development of Future Lightweight Composite Rocket Stages

MT Aerospace and ArianeGroup signed contracts with ESA on 14 May 2019 to develop Phoebus, a prototype of a highly-optimised black upper stage. (Credit: ArianeGroup)
  • ArianeGroup signs a new contract with ESA as lead contractor for the PHOEBUS project. This European Space Agency program aims to further the development of composite technologies, notably for the future upper stage of Ariane 6
  • The future “black” carbon composite upper stage, called ICARUS (Innovative Carbon ARiane Upper Stage), will be lighter than the current metal upper stage and will further enhance the versatility and competitiveness of Ariane 6 in the next few years
  • This contract, worth 14,6 M€, follows on from the first contracts signed in May 2019 and will confirm the technological maturity of the PHOEBUS demonstrator

MOULINEAUX, France (ArianeGroup PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) and ArianeGroup, lead contractor and design authority for Ariane 6, have signed a new technological development contract in the field of carbon composites. The PHOEBUS (Prototype of a Highly OptimizEd Black UpperStage) program will increase the maturity of the technologies needed to lower both the manufacturing cost and the weight of the Ariane 6 upper stage. The goal is thus to improve its performance (in particular, an increased payload capacity of about two metric tons to geostationary transfer orbit), and to validate a new stage architecture.

(more…)

New ESA Contracts to Advance Prometheus and Phoebus Projects

Prometheus rocket engine (Credit: ArianeGroup Holding)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA is forging ahead with advanced developments in two flagship space transportation demonstration projects, Prometheus and Phoebus. This will benefit Europe’s new Ariane 6 launcher in the near-term, and prepare for a new generation of European launch vehicles in the next decade.

(more…)