I deem senario 1: Drop-in replacement of Promethee instead of Vulcan 2.1 very unlikely. A Ariane Next that uses a promethee engine would always be a completely new/different launcher. LOx-LH has a density of 0.28-0.32 mT/M3 (kg/L); LOx-LNG (LCH4) is 0,82-0,83 mT/M3. So the fuel mass in the Core stage would nearly triple. So one Prometheus would not suffice.A Vulcain 2.2 or 2.3 (2.2 is already planned if I'm not mistaken) would be a much more logical drop in replacement. Vulcain 2.2 has 3D printed Turbopumps if I'm not mistaken. A new injector design (additive manufactured) and ignition system would lower the cost of a Vulcain engine a lot. I think that's a beter alternative than Scenario 1.
Interesting information, thanks.Will there be any other changes with Vulcain 2.2 and 2.3 (eg, thrust upgrade) or are they solely aimed at lowering the production cost?
Link to GKN video about new rocket engine production technology.I didn't known Vulcain 2.3 was actually really in development.Can you share some sources?
Airbus Safran Launchers tweeted a short video of the Prometheus 3D printed injector (is that what it is?).https://twitter.com/aslaunchers/status/842036194259136512
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 NextIt'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
Europe Sets Sights on Cheap Rocket Engine by 2030s
PARIS (Reuters) - Europe aims to develop a low-cost, reusable rocket engine for use after 2030 under a deal between Airbus Safran Launchers and the European Space Agency (ESA).They signed a development contract at the Paris Airshow on Thursday to develop a demonstrator engine, powered by liquid oxygen and methane.Airbus Safran said it would use new manufacturing techniques, including the use of 3D printers, to keep the engine's cost down to around 1 million euros ($1.1 million)."The commercial market - at least the European one - is asking for reliability, on-time delivery and cost, and we have to find the best way to answer these market expectations," its CEO, Alain Charmeau, told Reuters.The firm, a joint venture between Airbus and Safran that will become ArianeGroup on July 1, currently powers the rockets it uses to launch satellites for commercial clients with Vulcain 2 engines costing around 10 million euros each.
"We need, and will have Ariane 6 in 2020, but we also have to prepare for the future ...and that is why this (Prometheus) program is important," he said.The jury was still out on the issue of reusability, however.California-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) earlier this year achieved what it called "a huge revolution in spaceflight" by reusing part of one of its Falcon 9 rocket on a subsequent launch.Charmeau said Prometheus would include work on reusability. "(But) the market is not asking for reusability... As long as we have a limited number of institutional launches it's difficult to bet on reusability."
Without right engine, ArianeGroup can't even consider a RLV. This engine is step in right direction. In short term replace Vulcain with 1 or 2 of these engines. With switch to methane the same size stage could probably support 2 engines giving A6 a performance increase. Maybe add flyback engine pod.A smaller booster (no SRBs) using same flyback engine pod could replace Vega.
https://twitter.com/DutchSpace/status/877830981499052033DutchSpace @DutchSpace 3D image of #Prometheus a low cost liquid oxygen–methane engine being developed by @ArianeGroup @SAFRAN @AirbusSpace for future launchers
ArianeGroup signs a first contract with ESA to develop the future Prometheus engine• Airbus Safran Launchers, which will become ArianeGroup on July 1, 2017, today signed a first contract at the Paris Air Show with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop the Prometheus demonstrator• Prometheus is a low - cost reusable engine demonstrator running on liquid oxygen (LOx) and methane • Its applications are designed to equip European launchers as of 2030