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Satnews Daily
June 23rd, 2011

Astrium... Building For The Future (Propulsion)

[SatNews] With the named partners, this Company is working on a project that will see a demonstrator completed by 2013...

Astrium continues to prepare Europe’s future propulsion technology by signing a 60 million euros rider with the European Space Agency (ESA) and its partners of the joint propulsion team consortium: Avio SpA (Italy) and SNECMA (SAFRAN Group) (France). The contract is part of ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Program (FLPP). The activities were started back in 2007 and have accumulated a value of more than 100 million euros.

Following the successful system requirements review in May 2011, this rider covers further important development steps towards engine and subsystems preliminary design reviews for the Next Generation Launcher (NGL) first stage engine demonstrator to be reached by mid-2013. The engine demonstrator is focused on maximizing the implementation of key enabling technologies, which are being developed by 14 companies from nine European countries. Astrium is responsible for the thrust chamber assembly and jointly with SNECMA for the pre-burner design of the demonstrator. All principal combustion device technologies have already been subjected to first experimental tests over the previous years. Within the current €60 million contract rider, the final demonstrator design configuration shall now be hot fire tested on an advanced subscale level by Astrium. The completion of these tests will assure a successful closure of the combustion device subsystems preliminary design reviews planned for mid-2013.

The NGL project is part of ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP), designed to prepare a proposal combining all the technical and organisational aspects of the programme for presentation at the next ESA ministerial conference in 2012.