ESA Unveils Technologies for Future Launch Vehicles

Moving launch vehicle technology from ‘lab to launch’ (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA safeguards Europe’s guaranteed access to space through its Future Launchers Preparatory Programme, FLPP.

FLPP weighs up the opportunities and risks of different launch vehicle concepts and associated technologies.

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GKN Aerospace Wins ArianeGroup Contract for Ground-breaking Additively Manufactured Rocket Engine Turbines

Rocket engine (Credit: ArianeGroup)

Trollhättan, Sweden (GKN Aerospace PR) — GKN Aerospace will develop and manufacture two full-scale turbines for the Prometheus* low-cost re-usable rocket engine demonstrator on liquid oxygen and methane propellants. The turbines will generate power for the methane fuel system, with the first turbine to be delivered at the end of 2019. Manufacturing will take place in cooperation with partners and at GKN Aerospace’s highly automated engine systems centre of excellence in Trollhättan, Sweden.

The new state of the art turbine with all its challenging loads – including very high pressure, high speed and high temperatures – incorporates the latest additive manufacturing (AM) technologies with higher performance, lower lead times and significant cost reduction. This innovative development will support the next step in AM: the use of this technology for future higher loaded critical components in terms of pressure, temperature and rotational speed.

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Masten Launches Project Prometheus

Masten Space Systems' Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight to validate Draper Labs' GENIE flight control system. (Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida)
Masten Space Systems’ Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight to validate Draper Labs’ GENIE flight control system. (Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida)

Masten Space Systems has launched a new effort to make it easier for developers to produce flight-ready technologies:

Project Prometheus is a Masten program designed to foster the development of flight-test ready technologies by innovators in academic and research settings. By implementing a standardized interface between Masten vehicles and experimental software and hardware tools, Prometheus will provide a streamlined, efficient path for technology maturation throughout the course of tool conception, development and flight test. Access to uniform, flight-tested hardware and software development framework for innovators will ultimately reduce integration, development and other flight test costs.

Among other technology areas, the Prometheus program will provide a unique opportunity for rapid, streamlined development of tools relating to:

  • Visual navigation
  • Landing detection
  • Mass Estimation
  • Position/Attitude Estimation

Read more on the Masten blog.