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World Space Programs & Prospects: A European Perspective


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Presentation by Dave Salt of VEGA, given at Space Access 2012

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World Space Programs & Prospects: A European Perspective

  1. 1. Worlds Space Programs & Prospects A European Perspective David J. Salt 13th April, 2012Space Access 2012 1/5 A Finmeccanica CompanyPhoenix, AZ – 13th April, 2012
  2. 2. European launch systems & services • Government systems – Current orbital systems (Ariane, Soyuz, Vega) – Future orbital systems (Ariane 5 ME, Ariane 6, NELS) – Current suborbital systems (Maxus, Texus, Rexus) • Commercial systems – Orbital (Reaction Engines) – Suborbital (Astrium Spaceplane, Copenhagen Suborbitals, Project Enterprise, Tranquillity Aerospace) • Commercial services – Orbital (Arianespace, Starsem, Eurockot, ISIS) – Suborbital (Virgin Galactic, SXC, XCOR payload integrators)Space Access 2012 2/5 A Finmeccanica CompanyPhoenix, AZ – 13th April, 2012
  3. 3. Prospects for future growth (1/2) • Government systems – Funding unlikely to increase beyond past levels due to major financial constraints faced by all national governments – Funding constraints mean new development/operational concepts are now being pursued by ESA Ø ITT just released for New European Launch Services • Commercial systems – Reaction Engines heat exchanger tests are key to financing next phases of development – Other concepts are too immature to judge (e.g. Tranquillity Aerospace, Copenhagen Suborbitals) or appear to be moribund (e.g. Astrium Spaceplane, Project Enterprise)Space Access 2012 3/5 A Finmeccanica CompanyPhoenix, AZ – 13th April, 2012
  4. 4. Reaction Engines – testing begins Flight weight heat exchanger modules now under test to map out performance characteristics over full flight envelope Ø Test pre-cooler has 50km of 1mm Diameter Inconel tubes with wall thickness of 20 microns Note: steam is from the silencer systemSpace Access 2012 4/5 A Finmeccanica CompanyPhoenix, AZ – 13th April, 2012
  5. 5. Prospects for future growth (2/2) • Commercial services – Orbital services for large payloads seem likely to remain dominated by incumbents (Arianespace, Starsem, Eurockot) but small payloads may see growth through services offered by secondary sellers (e.g. ISIS) – Suborbital services are likely to see major growth, driven by European ventures (e.g.SXC) operating US developed sRLV systems or brokering flights aboard them (e.g. XCOR payload integrators) • Conclusion – The traditional European launch systems and services face severe challenges and may see significant future decline! – European ventures that exploit new US developed systems, by offering European industry improved access to the space environment, have significant growth potential!Space Access 2012 5/5 A Finmeccanica CompanyPhoenix, AZ – 13th April, 2012