Author Topic: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal  (Read 15196 times)

Offline jsgirald

CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« on: 09/30/2016 12:26 PM »
I haven't seen any comments on this (blog post in Spanish):
Callisto y Prometheus: cuando Europa imita a SpaceX

Apparently CNES is financing a development program for a methalox engine (Prometheus) and a technology demonstrator (Callisto) which looks a lot like SpaceX's Grasshopper.
Prometheus would give about 100t equivalent thrust, Daniel Marín (the author of the blog) conjectures that Callisto might become a launcher halfway between a Vega and an Arianne 6.

Anyone could kindly point me to more info? Thanks!
"For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert".

Offline AncientU

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #1 on: 10/05/2016 08:09 PM »
There have been a number of articles on Prometheus/Callisto over in the Ariane 6 thread.  Here is a link to a series of them...
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31494.msg1558879#msg1558879

This thread discussed splintering a dedicated thread, but thought it too early. 
Maybe now is the time(and you just did it).
Thanks.
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Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #2 on: 10/09/2016 04:04 PM »
The article from Naukas is a bit misleading. The only thing that relates the proposed Prometheus / Promethee and Callisto programs, is that both will use LOx and LNG/Liquid methane as propellants. Besides this Airbus D&S / ASL will very likely be involved in both programs. And both programs try to get funded during ESA's 2016 ministerial conference.

Prometheus/Promethee is a follow-on project on the ACE-42R rocket engine development project.
(Also known as Romeo engine) Airbus Defence and Space and Japanese IHI have jointly developed the gasgenerator and turbo machinery for a 350; 420 or 600kN rocket engine. I don't know if they have integrated everything and tested it together as planned. These engines would use liquid oxygen and liquid methane (or LNG I don't know precisely) as propellants.
If I'm not mistaken CNES and ASL now propose to develop a 1000kN LOx LNG/Liquid Methane engine. They plan to make extensive use of additive manufacturing to get the production cost as low as 1mln Euro per engine. I don't know if they plan for a Gas Generator or Staged Combustion (NOT full flown) cycle rocket engine. They require roughly 125mln euro funding for the engine development. I think France and Germany and possibly Italy will be main contributors if funded. Possibly IHI; JAXA, Japan are also involved.

Callisto is a small scale reusable sounding rocket test bed, that IHI and ASL jointly want to develop. The project is estimated to cost 100mln euro. I read from multiple sources that:
- Launch is planned from CSG (most likely the sounding rocket pad)
- The Callisto rocket will be 1 meter in diameter and ten meters long.
- They plan to use a Japanese engine from IHI, most likely the LE-8 (100kN LOx LNG) engine.
My back of the envelope calculations give a fuel mass of less then 6,5mT and GLOW below 7,5mT.

I agree with Naukas that both programs can lead to a reusable Prometheus powered launch system.
I think Prometheus is a good development program. I'm a lot more skeptical about the scientific/technological return of investment of the Callisto program.

Development of a new, large cryogenic liquid rocket engine has to be done by experts, aka ASL. An new engine developed for 125mln euro sounds good value for money to me.
The development of control algorithms for controlling a stage during decent and landing for 100mln sounds  expansive to me. Especially considering the budgets for other European rocket technology development projects. PLD space estimates it requires 30mln to develop their test site, engines, Arion 1 and Arion 2. The EU Horizon 2020 Altair and SMILE programs are both about 4mln. And I've seen an estimate of less then 50mln to develop a small satellite launcher (200kg). So 100mln for only a lander testbed sounds expansive considering that this could also be tested using the Arion 1 or a Nammo Northstar sounding rockets.

I'll wait untill more news comes out form official sources. I guess we'll hear something within a month.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2016 05:22 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline gosnold

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #3 on: 10/14/2016 08:35 PM »
I browsed through the IAC papers and there are a lot of them from Cnes and Airbus about reusable rockets and LOX/methane engines. I'll try to put together a summary and post it here or on my blog.
« Last Edit: 10/15/2016 08:45 AM by gosnold »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #4 on: 10/14/2016 09:58 PM »
Now is time to start planning for RLV with engines being starting point. It is not just SpaceX ESA has to consider, Blue will have RLV in few years with India also working towards one.

Ariane 6 is still good replacement for Ariane 5 but now is time to work towards A6 replacement/upgrade. This could even be a progress upgrade of A6 eg flyback boosters replacing SRBs, flyback engine section.

Offline floss

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #5 on: 10/15/2016 10:43 PM »
Thought shuttle proved that reuse was a non starter with chemical rockets simply because it costs so much to fix the rocket that a new one would be cheaper.

Online savuporo

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #6 on: 10/16/2016 02:18 AM »
SN actually ran an article on this relatively recently

http://spacenews.com/french-space-minister-calls-for-european-rocket-rd-effort-says-spacex-victory-still-tbd/

And this too : http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3061/1
Quote
Q: Is CNES already looking ahead to Europe’s next space launch system?

Le Gall: We need to start work on that now. When Ariane 6 got the go-ahead at the ESA ministerial council meeting in Luxembourg in December 2014, we were able to get the program on the rails quickly because CNES had started the conceptual studies back in 2007–2008. That’s why we’re continuing to focus on the future with the new Prometheus methane-liquid oxygen engine and the Callisto technology demonstrator.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2016 02:22 AM by savuporo »
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Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #7 on: 12/02/2016 01:49 PM »
Mostly funded;

https://www.twitter.com/pbdes/status/804688669735063552
Quote
ESA launcher director Neuenschwander: We wanted EUR 100M for reusable LOX/methane engine, we got EUR 83. So program can start.#ESACM16

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #8 on: 12/03/2016 08:01 PM »
Any word on if the Callisto part of this recieved any funding?
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline sdsds

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #9 on: 12/04/2016 04:29 AM »
Quote
Joel Barre, deputy director of the French space agency, CNES, said after the ministerial conference that France is paying the vast majority of the Prometheus program so as not to lose development time.

[...] Barre said France is determined to test reusability technologies.

Reporting by Peter B. de Selding — December 2, 2016:
http://spacenews.com/europe-commits-to-the-space-station-and-exomars-as-part-of-11-billion-in-commitments-to-esa/
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #10 on: 12/04/2016 08:30 AM »
There are few possible ways they can do reusability with 1000kn methane engines.
1) A reuse able F9 class booster, which may have to be expendable for higher performance mission. They would also need a considerably larger US.
2) Use 2-3 engines booster with flyback engine pod plus 2-4 SRB. Keep US and SRBs from A6.
Then later on replace SRBs with 2 flyback boosters, maybe option of 2 additional SRBs for large payloads.
3) 1-3 engine booster with 2 attachable engine pods (2-3 engine). The engine pods would separate and flyback. Booster carries on its (substainer) engines which eventually separate and fly back. Still have option of 2 additional SRBs.
4) Only use 2 flyback pods with central fuel tank. ULA have picture of this, maybe Vulcan successor. Still have option of 2 extra SRBs.

For options 2-4 engine pods will be close to orbital speeds when they separate.


Offline Salo

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #11 on: 12/04/2016 06:13 PM »
http://web.archive.org/web/20160827123254/https://ariane.cnes.fr/fr/moteur-promethee-une-evolution-vers-des-systemes-de-lancements-europeens-tres-bas-cout
Google translate:
Quote
20 April 2016
PROMETHEE, an evolution towards European launch systems at very low cost
With the PROMETHEE engine, CNES and Airbus Safran Launchers are preparing European launch systems at very low cost.

Since its inception, the Ariane 5 launcher has been a remarkable success. To date, the European pitcher has completed a series of 71 successful consecutive launches.

As early as 2020, Ariane 6 will continue this success, especially in the face of the significant emergence of new players in the field of space transportation and at a cost twice as low as Ariane 5.

Indeed, fueled by new investors and the multiplication of innovative applications, the environment of the space sector is changing rapidly, whether from the satellites or the launch services offered by new players. All indications are that these new operators will continue their efforts to reduce the costs of access to space by 2025/2035.

For A competitive launcher beyond Ariane 6

In order for Europe to continue to have a competitive launcher beyond Ariane 6 in the long term, CNES, in partnership with Airbus Safran Launchers, is preparing to develop new engines to Production costs and increase the pace of launch. "We think we need to work on a new engine that could be reusable but, beyond that, we need a much cheaper engine than the ones we are currently using, which has to be reduced by a factor of Whether it is a reusable engine or not, "explained Jean-Marc Astorg, CNES launcher director in the February-March 2016 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology.

PROMETHEE (Precursor Reusable Oxygen METHane cost Effective Engine), 100 T LOX / Methane thrust gas generating cycle engine, will be an evolution towards very low cost European launch systems. The goal is to have a launcher that will cost twice as much as Ariane 6 with technologies of the 21st century. The first PROMETHEE engine bench tests are planned for 2018.

The studies currently under way, jointly carried out by ASL and the CNES launcher division, have made it possible to define technological solutions capable of meeting the very low cost objectives of this engine. In parallel, prototyping of some parts has already been launched.

Through PROMETHEE, the objective is also to reduce engine development times, notably by using the latest technologies in 3D printing.

The Promethee engine could lead to launchers ten times cheaper than at present. Credits: CNES

« Last Edit: 12/04/2016 06:14 PM by Salo »

Offline Salo

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #12 on: 12/04/2016 06:19 PM »
https://presse.cnes.fr/en/thierry-mandon-visits-cness-launch-vehicles-directorate-dla-presentation-ariane-6-and-vega-c

June 1, 2016
Thierry Mandon visits CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA) : presentation of Ariane 6 and Vega-C programmes and their future evolutions

Wednesday 1 June, Thierry Mandon, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, visited CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA) for a presentation of the Ariane 6 and Vega-C programmes and their future evolutions. The meeting was held in the presence of representatives from CNES, ESA, the German, Italian and Swiss space agencies, Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL) and Arianespace.

Thierry Mandon underlined the need in today’s fiercely competitive global market to bring Ariane 6 and Vega-C on stream at the earliest possible opportunity to secure Europe’s long-term independent access to space and its position as world number one in the commercial launch services market. He also stressed that efforts to cut the cost of getting to space must be pursued beyond Ariane 6 through a coherent strategy laying the groundwork for the future based on the premise that reusable launchers may one day replace today’s expendable vehicles.

At this meeting, Europe’s space launch team put forward its strategy for evolving Ariane 6 and Vega-C, underpinned by a new family of very-low-cost engines dubbed Prometheus. These new engines will make extensive use of additive manufacturing technologies and run on hydrocarbon and liquid oxygen. They will be designed from the outset for reuse but will also be able to equip expendable launchers. The goal is to ready a prototype of Prometheus for testing before the end of the decade.

After the meeting, Thierry Mandon commented: “Alongside development of Ariane 6 and Vega-C, Europe must begin laying the groundwork for the future with the new Prometheus family of engines in order to secure its long-term independent launch capability and its position as world leader in the commercial launch services market. Ariane 6 and Vega-C, which will be ready to fly by the end of this decade, are today drawing on the research heritage of the last 20 years and we must set in train now the decisions that will shape their future evolutions.”

New family of very-low-cost engines Prometheus presentation for Thierry Mandon (mid-photo), Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research at the CNES’s Launch Vehicles Directorate (DLA), in Paris. Credits: CNES/H. Piraud.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #13 on: 12/04/2016 06:45 PM »
http://web.archive.org/web/20160827123254/https://ariane.cnes.fr/fr/moteur-promethee-une-evolution-vers-des-systemes-de-lancements-europeens-tres-bas-cout
Google translate:
Quote
20 April 2016
PROMETHEE, an evolution towards European launch systems at very low cost
With the PROMETHEE engine, CNES and Airbus Safran Launchers are preparing European launch systems at very low cost.

Since its inception, the Ariane 5 launcher has been a remarkable success. To date, the European pitcher has completed a series of 71 successful consecutive launches.

As early as 2020, Ariane 6 will continue this success, especially in the face of the significant emergence of new players in the field of space transportation and at a cost twice as low as Ariane 5.

Indeed, fueled by new investors and the multiplication of innovative applications, the environment of the space sector is changing rapidly, whether from the satellites or the launch services offered by new players. All indications are that these new operators will continue their efforts to reduce the costs of access to space by 2025/2035.

For A competitive launcher beyond Ariane 6

In order for Europe to continue to have a competitive launcher beyond Ariane 6 in the long term, CNES, in partnership with Airbus Safran Launchers, is preparing to develop new engines to Production costs and increase the pace of launch. "We think we need to work on a new engine that could be reusable but, beyond that, we need a much cheaper engine than the ones we are currently using, which has to be reduced by a factor of Whether it is a reusable engine or not, "explained Jean-Marc Astorg, CNES launcher director in the February-March 2016 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology.

PROMETHEE (Precursor Reusable Oxygen METHane cost Effective Engine), 100 T LOX / Methane thrust gas generating cycle engine, will be an evolution towards very low cost European launch systems. The goal is to have a launcher that will cost twice as much as Ariane 6 with technologies of the 21st century. The first PROMETHEE engine bench tests are planned for 2018.

The studies currently under way, jointly carried out by ASL and the CNES launcher division, have made it possible to define technological solutions capable of meeting the very low cost objectives of this engine. In parallel, prototyping of some parts has already been launched.

Through PROMETHEE, the objective is also to reduce engine development times, notably by using the latest technologies in 3D printing.

The Promethee engine could lead to launchers ten times cheaper than at present. Credits: CNES


Its not an highly efficient Staged Combustion (FFSC/ORSC/FRSC) Methalox LRE so it will have a very tough fight on their hands with Raptor and BE-4 LRE families in the States.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2016 07:49 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #14 on: 12/05/2016 12:35 AM »
I'd ignore discussion of Prometheus' potential reusability, what they are really talking about is manufacturing an engine so cheap that reuse is not economical.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2016 10:57 AM by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #15 on: 12/05/2016 06:44 PM »
Its not an FFSC Methalox LRE so it will have a very tough fight on their hands with Raptor, and BE-4 LRE families in the States.

BE-4 is also not a full flow staged combustion engine, it is an Oxigen rich staged combustion engine. Both BE-4 and Raptor 1&3 MN are multi billion rocket engine development programs. That take at least five years of development time. I think CNES wants a cheap and fast rocket engine development after the disastrous Vince engine program. Promethee should cost less then one million where Vulcain2.1 costs roughty ten million.

I expect the following will happen. With the transition from Vega to Vega-C the 139mT launched with 1.4mT payload changes into a 200mT launcher with 2.2mT payload. Vega-C still will use (toxic) solids and (toxic) hypergolic liquids. The VUS (Myra or possibly HM7C) Vega-E 3th stage will eliminate the hypergolics and boosts Vega-E performance further. If I'm not mistaken this is a subject for the 2019 ministerial.
I've seen already two <500kg satellite launcher proposals that look like they will use a Romeo derived first stage engine. They first will launch expendable, but possibly later??

A 80mT GLOW single promethee first stage and the VUS (Myra) as second stage will form a nice expendable <1mT satellite launch vehicle. The most logical path to reusability in my oppinion would be to try to softly land this first stage in the ocean.
The promethee stage on top of an ESR (P142) with optionally a VUS will form a nice launcher with slightly more capability then Vega-E, I guess up to 4mT payload.

Experiments with highly reusable engines and stages will happen on (25-45) 35kN scale engines, as is already ongoing. If these smaller scale reusable stages have proven a path to an efficient business case with less then 20 annual launches. I expect a Ariane 7 program with reusable single, 5, 7 and 9 engine first stages and expendable VUS, Romeo and Promethee upper-stages. I expect Vince and even HM-7 will still be used for a long time. For really heavy >50mT payloads even Vulcan can remain in use. But I don't see a market for such an insanely large launch vehicle.

Don't forget the only flown reusable launch vehicle was the space shuttle. And was that such a succes? My oppinion is that a 10% failure rate as Falcon9, Proton and Zenith have shown are not acceptable. Even the 3% soyuz has shown is to high if you ask me. With the high launch cost of ULA launchers or Ariane 5 the launch cost is rarely more then half as expensive as the payload.
I think it is much more important to have a launcher available when needed, that is reliable. Launch cost is much less of a priority.
Also don't forget that these agencies have fresh memories of programs like Hermes,  Ariane 5 ME/Vince, Crew Reentry Vehicle, ATV/Orion service module, Expert, PAZ, QB-50, ACES (ISS atomic clock), EDR-2 (ESA magnatic furnice rack), etc.

And I forgot to name the financial situation in France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Irland, Portugal. Not that the situation in the USA is any better.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2017 05:21 PM by Rik ISS-fan »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #16 on: 12/05/2016 07:47 PM »
Its not an FFSC Methalox LRE so it will have a very tough fight on their hands with Raptor, and BE-4 LRE families in the States.

BE-4 is also not a full flow staged combustion engine, it is an Oxigen rich staged combustion engine. Both BE-4 and Raptor 1&3 MN are multi billion rocket engine development programs. That take at least five years of development time. I think CNES wants a cheap and fast rocket engine development after the disastrous Vince engine program. Promethee should cost less then one million where Vulcain2.1 costs roughty ten million.

I expect the following will happen. With the transition from Vega to Vega-C the 139mT launchet with 1.4mT payload changes into a 200mT launcher with 2.3mT payload. Vega-C still will use (toxic) solids and (toxic) hypergolic liquids. The VUS (Myra or possibly HM7C) Vega 3th stage will eliminate the hypergolics and boosts Vega-E performance further. If I'm not mistaken this is a subject for the 2019 ministerial.
I've seen already two <500kg satellite launcher proposals that look like they will use a Romeo derived first stage engine. They first will launch expendable, but possibly later??

 A 80mT GLOW singele promethee first stage and the VUS as second stage will form a nice expendable <1mT satellite launch vehicle. The most logical path to reusability in my oppinion would be to try to softly land this first stage in the ocean.
The promethee stage on top of an ESR (P142) with optionally an VUS will form a nice launcher with slightly more capability then Vega-E, I guess up to 4mT payload.

Experiments with highly reusable engines and stages will happen on 35kN scale engines, as is already ongoing. If these smaller scale reusable stages have proven a path to an efficient business case with less then 20 annual launches. I expect a Ariane 7 program with reusable single, 5 and 7 engine first stages and expendable VUS, Romeo and Promethee upper-stages. I expect Vince and even HM-7 will still be used for a long time. For really heavy >50mT payloads even Vulcan can remain in use. But I don't see a market for such an insanely large launch vehicle.

Don't forget the only flown reusable launch vehicle was the space shuttle. And was that such a succes? My oppinion is that a 10% failure rate as Falcon9, Proton and Zenith have shown are not acceptable. Even the 3% soyuz has shown is to low if you ask me. With the high launch cost of ULA launchers or Ariane 5 the launch cost is rarely more then half as expensive as the payload.
I think it is much more important to have a launcher available when needed, that is reliable. Launch cost is much less of a priority.
Also don't forget that these agencies have fresh memories of programs like Hermes,  Ariane 5 ME/Vince, Crew Reentry Vehicle, ATV/Orion service module, Expert, PAZ, QB-50, ACES (ISS atomic clock), EDR-2 (ESA magnatic furnice rack), etc.

And I forgot to name the financial situation in France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Irland, Portugal. Not that the situation in the USA is any better.
yes I know I left a space but forgot to actually write it in.
Vega-E was advanced to the next step of development, but 2019 ministerial is for final development include possibly testing if development doesn't get drawn out further during each succeeding ministerial conference.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2016 07:53 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #17 on: 12/05/2016 08:18 PM »
AFAIK Prometheus is being engineered to lower cost, not to be the most bleeding edge methane engine on the market. And there is no clear precedent for better engine perfomance translating into being more cost effective. There's quite a few counter examples in fact.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline calapine

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #18 on: 02/07/2017 06:06 PM »
My first post on NSF, so Hello Everyone! *waves*   :)



OK, now to business:

L'usine nouvelle has an interesting report about CNES plans for the post-Ariane 6 time. Codewort "Ariane Next"

Vous avez aimé Ariane 6, vous allez adorer Ariane Next

It's all in french, so here is short a summary:

•   A launcher for "beyond 2030".
•   At the moment a team of 15 is working on the concept.
•   Further cost reduction by a factor of 2, compared to Ariane 6.
•   Tailored to both Commercial and State customers.
•   Development time reduced from 10 to 5 years.
•   Adaptable industrial base:
      o   Ability to increase production if demand requires it...
      o   But able to scale down and stay profitable if the commercial market shrinks.
•   The designated engine is Prométhéus
      o   10x cheaper to manufacture (compared to Vulcan 2)
      o   50% production time
      o   Extensive use of additive manfivuating aka 3D-printing
      o   Methane instead of LH2 propellant, easier to handle, yet similarities should speed up development.
      o   One possible scenario is to use Prométhéus for both 1st and 2nd stage.
•   Callisto will be the prototype for reusability
      o   Re-ignition at high altitude studied by Onera
•   Possibility of 2nd stage reuse is being considered.
•   Upper Stage could remain in orbit and conduct several GTO missions

For more in-depth Google Translate does a decent job.

Calapine
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 06:16 PM by calapine »

Offline Jester

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #19 on: 02/08/2017 06:58 AM »
Hi miss S, welcome ;-)

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