CNES, DLR Sign Cooperative Agreement on Liquid Rocket Propulsion

Firing tests of a LOX/methane combustion chamber have been conducted on the DLR P8 bench. (Credits: ArianeGroup)

PARIS (CNES PR) — The liquid propulsion R&T cooperation agreement between CNES and DLR, the German space agency, marks the start of 2021.

This agreement, signed remotely between the two space agencies, aims to improve knowledge of physical mechanisms and increase the level of technological preparation of liquid propulsion. It is the culmination of long discussions between the two agencies and the reflection of a common desire to work on this R&T axis effectively while respecting the strategies of each country and seeking knowledge gains on both sides.

This cooperation has thus made it possible to carry out jointly and with the teams of ArianeGroup SAS (supported by an R&T CNES / AGS contract) and ArianeGroup GmbH (supported by AGG / DLR grant n ° 50RL1710 (TARES2020 project)) fire tests of a combustion chamber.

These tests using the liquid oxygen/methane propellant pair took place on the P8 bench of the DLR in Lampoldshausen and in particular made it possible to explore the operation of the combustion chamber at low thrust.

Operation at low engine speed is an important demonstration step contributing to the development of reuse, particularly for controlling the return to earth phase of the first stage of the launcher.