Author Topic: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal  (Read 129865 times)

Offline TheKutKu

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #280 on: 01/11/2023 01:52 pm »


Still, TBH - with SpaceX sweeping the market, their heydays of the 1990's and 2000's are gone - let's face it.

Or is it? Few would have bet in the late 90s/early 2000s, after a couple of A5 failure and A4 on its way out that Arianespace would ever gain its overwhelming market share it enjoyed around 1990 back, especially with the competition from Russian launchers and EELV around the corner promising cost reductions. Yet a bit over a decade later Arianespace was back to having 50%+ market share.

It's going to be a very tough environment, but nobody should write off competitive, european commercial launch capabilities. Who knows what the market will look like by 2040?
« Last Edit: 01/11/2023 01:52 pm by TheKutKu »

Offline Harry Cover

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #281 on: 01/11/2023 02:30 pm »
Allows me to express my satisfaction at hearing such a positive opinion right here, in this thread and on this very forum - by quoting Better call Saul twice

"I'm very pleased to here that !" (Gustavo Fring)

"Be still my heart !" (Mike Ehrmantraut)

Nice to have, for once, people not burying Arianespace 30 ft deep...

Just sayin'.

Offline Mahurora

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #282 on: 06/07/2023 05:12 pm »
So according to a JAXA doccument from 2021 the CALLISTO is pegged to a preceeding Japanese demonstrator vehicle called RV-X. More about it on this thread on Japanese Launchers section.

The problem is that RV-X was meant to be launched at March of 2022 by September of 2021. Around the same time CALLISTO was set for first flight by 2024. Now RV-X is further delayed and is still to fly. More than 80% of Callisto development cost are funded by JAXA so there's no choice for CNES and DLR unless they call it quits I guess. When RV-X was in trouble it mentions that the CALLISTO team was supposed to help so no wonder CALLISTO is delayed. I'd say that the 2025 first flight date given in the document posted in last page is not a garauntee either and will depend on further RV-X developments.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2023 05:12 pm by Mahurora »

Offline Mahurora

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #283 on: 06/07/2023 06:19 pm »
Found newer updates on "Europe in Space" Substack from 23rd of January, earlier this year.

Quote
[...]This made it possible to carry out the preliminary definition review of the products and subsystems in 2022[...]

The development tests for the majority of the components and sub-systems should be completed soon. For example, environmental and acoustics tests of the equipment vehicle bay will be conducted this summer, which will make it possible to hold critical definition reviews. This will pave the way for the critical launch system definition review in the second half of 2023. In 2024, a series of flight-worthiness reviews will follow. [...]

The ground support systems should be gradually implemented at the launch site from the middle of 2023, for a technical qualification scheduled for 2024. Everything will therefore be in place to receive the elements of the vehicle before the end of 2024 at the Guiana Space Center. [...]

So compared to the schedules from September 2021, current scheudules seems to be around a year late. Also, now RV-X and CALLISTO seems to be running concurrently instead of RV-X preceeding CALLISTO, just like how CALLISTO was supposed to preceed THEMIS before but is now a concurrent program.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2023 06:20 pm by Mahurora »

Offline Asteroza

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #284 on: 06/08/2023 03:49 am »
RV-X, CALLISTO, and THEMIS all being parallel rather than series programs sounds like a recipe for trouble...

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #285 on: 06/08/2023 05:22 am »
RV-X, CALLISTO, and THEMIS all being parallel rather than series programs sounds like a recipe for trouble...

If done in series, it would take three times as long!
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Mahurora

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #286 on: 06/08/2023 02:08 pm »
RV-X, CALLISTO, and THEMIS all being parallel rather than series programs sounds like a recipe for trouble...
The main emphasis of these programs, apart from the development of TVTL technology, are a bit different from one another so I'd say there's a merrit. Also each of the programs seems to have been altered slightly to suit the (now) concurrent nature of these program management.

Offline Mamut

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #287 on: 06/08/2023 02:12 pm »
Having in mind that Maia space wwork on reusabillity, and they actually aim to launch commercial reusable rockets more or less in the same time when we expect Callisto to fly, and given the fact, that we also have others small reusable rockets being worked on in Europe, like reusable Vega, and Themis, seems to me, that Callisto doeasn't make any sense whatsoever any more.

Offline TheKutKu

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #288 on: 06/08/2023 02:36 pm »
Having in mind that Maia space wwork on reusabillity, and they actually aim to launch commercial reusable rockets more or less in the same time when we expect Callisto to fly, and given the fact, that we also have others small reusable rockets being worked on in Europe, like reusable Vega, and Themis, seems to me, that Callisto doeasn't make any sense whatsoever any more.
Callisto is much more internationalised than Themis and so cannot be easily cancelled.

Offline TheKutKu

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #289 on: 06/10/2023 05:43 pm »
From CNES mag June 2023

Quote
For Prometheus, the next step is a demonstration test campaign with a focus on industrialization, scheduled for late 2023 on the German space agency DLR's P5 test bed in Lampoldshausen. The two systems [Prometheus and Themis] will then continue their joint trajectory in Kiruna, with hop tests - small vertical flights at low altitude by the T1H vehicle - scheduled for 2024.

Sounds like Geographic return struck again, test campaigns are moving from Vernon to Lampoldhausen


CNESmag also mentions  that CNES and Arianegroup-Vernon are studying 200t thrust engines, with one version "Currently in development" being "evolved from Prometheus"

More thrust increases from this series of engines, went from 35 tons to 100 to 120 and now 200 tons! Let’s hope a flight-ready design gets frozen.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #290 on: 06/23/2023 12:55 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1672212924763451393

Quote
Arianespace announced the first hot-fire test campaign of the reusable Prometheus engine (a new-generation, reusable, high-thrust (100 ton) engine) on the Themis launcher core stage demonstrator.

The test took place at ArianeGroup’s Vernon (France) site, with a complete stage running on liquid oxygen and liquid bio-methane.

“This successfully concluded test campaign marks a first concrete step for development of reusable launchers built in Europe. The complete test of the Prometheus engine, carried out directly on the reusable Themis stage demonstrator, has been particularly eagerly anticipated as it opens up highly promising avenues for the future family of European launchers" - Martin Sion, CEO of ArianeGroup.

ArianeGroup noted it will soon be setting up a Prometheus Users Club, along the lines of the Ariane 6 Users Club. This step marks the beginning of marketing Prometheus to all interested European parties.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #291 on: 06/23/2023 12:58 pm »
https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Transportation/Full_ignition_for_ESA_s_reusable_rocket_engine

Quote
Full ignition for ESA’s reusable rocket engine

23/06/2023

ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Transportation
Work to develop a reusable engine for European rockets is progressing, with full ignition of an early prototype of Prometheus. These images were taken on 22 June 2023 at ArianeGroup’s test facility in Vernon, France during a 12-second burn.

According to ArianeGroup, which is developing Prometheus under contact to ESA, testing will continue at the end of 2023 at the German aerospace agency DLR’s test site in Lampoldshausen, Germany.

The 100-tonne thrust class Prometheus features extensive use of new materials and manufacturing techniques designed to reduce its cost to just a tenth of Ariane 5’s Vulcain 2, an upgraded version of which – Vulcain 2.1 – powers the core stage of Ariane 6.

Prometheus burns liquid oxygen-liquid methane fuel. Methane is clean burning and simplifies handling, to help enable reusability and reduce the cost of ground operations before and after flight. A version using liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen is also being developed.

Prometheus features variable thrust and multiple ignition capability. Additive layer manufacturing – so-called 3D printing – features extensively, reducing the number of parts, speeding up production and reducing waste.

For the Vernon and Lampoldshausen tests, Prometheus is mounted in a prototype of a reusable rocket stage, called Themis, which is being developed in parallel with the engine. Later, this engine-stage combination will attempt a series of “hop-tests”, lifting a few meters above the ground to check flight and landing capability.

Together, Prometheus and Themis are envisioned to be common technological building blocks for a future family of European launchers.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #292 on: 06/23/2023 11:19 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1672368773129461766

Quote
Europe completes the first successful 12 second hot-fire test of its reusable Prometheus engine integrated with the Themis first-stage demonstrator at the ArianeGroup site in Vernon, France.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2023/06/themis-prometheus-hot-fire-test/ - by Bella Richards (@bellaa_richards)

The two components are part of a broader European launch program, called Ariane Next, which is focused on developing a fleet of reusable rockets that will enter into service in the 2030s.

Offline Mamut

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #293 on: 10/26/2023 12:31 pm »
https://press.ariane.group/reutilisation-en-europe-prometheus-et-themis-franchissent-de-nouvelles-etapes-10733/?lang=eng
Quote
Reuse in Europe: Prometheus and Themis reach new milestones
26/10/2023

The Prometheus® and Themis demonstrator programs have made significant progress during the summer at ArianeGroup’s Vernon site.
Following the first ignition campaign of the Prometheus® engine on the Themis reusable stage demonstrator in June 2023, testing has continued regularly. The latest test, on October 20, ignited and ran the Prometheus® engine for 30 seconds.
These tests of a complete stage running on liquid oxygen and liquid bio-methane are essential in order to develop the technological building blocks needed for Europe’s future reusable space launchers.
At the same time, the roadmap for the Themis demonstrator is being followed in order to prepare for the flight tests. The Themis tanks are currently undergoing a series of tests to validate the flight subassemblies. The landing legs also underwent their first deployment tests. Finally, the major component parts of the vehicle have been received.

The Prometheus® and Themis demonstrators are European Space Agency (ESA) programs for the development of reuse technologies in Europe, for which ArianeGroup is lead contractor.

The Prometheus® and Themis demonstrator programs made significant progress over the course of the summer. The firing test campaign for the Prometheus® engine on the Themis reusable stage demonstrator notably continued on a regular basis on ArianeGroup’s Vernon (France) site.

On June 22, ArianeGroup completed the first ignition campaign of Prometheus® on Themis, carried out with the support of the “France Relance”(1) recovery fund. During the last test in that campaign, the engine ran for a period of 12 seconds.

A second test carried out on September 23 completes the initial phase of the contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Then, a further firing test was conducted on October 20 with ignition and operation of the Prometheus® engine for 30 seconds followed by a re-ignition.

The aim now is to test operation of the engine throughout its thrust envelope during the coming months. The engine’s ability to vary its thrust is essential for the Themis stage to be able to return to Earth.

In parallel, the Themis reusable stage demonstrator roadmap is continuing. The ArianeGroup teams are now entering the first flight preparation phase. The next steps will validate the Prometheus® engine for the Themis flight envelope, prior to the flight tests in Kiruna, Sweden.

With regard to the Themis stage itself, significant progress was made in a number of key areas over the course of the summer.

The major parts of the vehicle have arrived at Vernon, notably the Multi-Engine Bay (MEB), a structure built by SABCA (Belgium) that will accommodate the three Prometheus® engines, and the Flight Control Bay (FCB) built by APCO Technologies (Switzerland), which will mainly accommodate the avionic equipment.

The Themis landing legs have also undergone their first deployment tests. These legs, built by Almatech (Switzerland), are scaled to support the stage’s return to Earth.

The Themis tanks are currently undergoing a series of tests in Vernon, in order to validate the flight subassemblies. The structure comprising the two tanks with a common base is a major component of the vehicle. This campaign comprises several filling tests with liquid oxygen (-183°C) and liquid methane (-160°C). The success of these tests is a crucial step in validating the utilization and behavior of the tanks prior to the flight tests.

All of these tests carried out in Vernon are covered by the development contracts for the Prometheus® and Themis demonstrators awarded to ArianeGroup by ESA. Once the various test campaigns have been successfully completed, the Themis stage will be integrated at ArianeGroup’s Les Mureaux site near Paris and readied for the flight tests.

The demonstrator will then be sent to Sweden for hop tests to be conducted at the Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, as part of the European Union’s SALTO (Horizon Europe) project.
« Last Edit: 10/26/2023 12:39 pm by Mamut »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #294 on: 10/26/2023 01:35 pm »
Couple of photos to go with the press release

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #295 on: 10/26/2023 04:07 pm »

Offline Mamut

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #296 on: 10/29/2023 02:13 pm »


Interesting, I have never seen this leg folded before. Wondering why the top part of the leg takes that much space when folded. Shouldn't it be thinner? That's gonna be the hell of a drag. Maybe it's just for hops, not for suborbital. Or maybe it's gonna be partially hiden inside rocket case? The F9 legs seem completely flat in comparisson.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2023 02:50 pm by Mamut »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #297 on: 12/06/2023 04:37 pm »
https://twitter.com/esa_transport/status/1732437431528407211

Quote
Themis will use the restartable Prometheus rocket engine, that runs on liquid oxygen and liquid methane. 🔥

https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Videos/2023/11/Prometheus_prototype_engine_test

Quote
Prometheus prototype engine test

01/12/2023

Scenes from a 30-second burn with re-ignition of an early prototype of the Prometheus engine at ArianeGroup’s test facility in Vernon, France, on 20 October 2023.

The 100-tonne thrust class Prometheus burns liquid oxygen-liquid methane fuel. Methane is clean burning and simplifies handling, to help enable reusability and reduce the cost of ground operations before and after flight.

The engine is mounted in an early prototype of a reusable rocket stage, called Themis, which is being developed in parallel with the engine under contract from ESA. While engine testing continues, work is also underway to prepare a more advanced Themis prototype for a series of “hop-tests” in Kiruna, Sweden. The objective will be to lift off and rise to as high as 100 m, to check flight and landing capability.
« Last Edit: 12/06/2023 04:38 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #298 on: 12/06/2023 04:39 pm »
Quote
Earlier this year we tested the #Themis landing legs built by Almatech in Swizterland 🇨🇭.

Like Swiss clockwork, they deployed perfectly relying only on gravity to fall into position.

https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Videos/2023/12/Themis_landing_legs_deployment_test

Quote
Themis landing legs deployment test

05/12/2023

Landing leg deployment test for Themis at Vernon, France in 2023.

Themis is ESA’s rocket prototype – a flagship European demonstrator for low-cost rocket recovery and reuse technologies. Themis will be powered by the reusable, methane-fuelled engine Prometheus, named after the Greek mythological figure who stole fire from the gods and brought it to humans. Themis was the mother of Prometheus.

Developed with ArianeGroup as prime contractor and building on decades of European research and experience in rocketry and space operations, Themis is designed to launch, land vertically and live on for another mission. 

The landing legs are developed, manufactured, and tested by Almatech from Switzerland. The landing legs use gravity to deploy and are made of composite materials. Themis will have a full set of four landing legs on its flight tests from Kiruna spaceport in Sweden.

Themis will demonstrate and prove Europe’s ability to take off and vertically land a rocket, and will also be the flying test bed for other technologies such as new avionics or engine activation and controls developed across ESA programmes.

Themis is part of ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme, developing new launch systems to meet Europe’s institutional and commercial needs and putting Europe at the forefront of developments in space. It oversees launch system studies and research activities while challenging industry to create new, reliable technologies at lower cost, working towards a more reusable and sustainable use of space.

https://twitter.com/esa_transport/status/1732437435500412973

Quote
Two #Themis models are being worked on at @ArianeGroup's site in Vernon, France 🇫🇷: Themis 1 Ground (T1G left) and the first flight model, Themis 1 Hop (T1H right).

Hop tests with T1H are planned next year from @SSCspace's Esrange launch site in Sweden 🇸🇪.

Offline Mamut

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Re: CNES ESA Prometheus / Callisto proposal
« Reply #299 on: 01/08/2024 12:27 pm »
Not sure if this one matches here, however The Exploration Company works on reusable Raptor like engine that might be used in future European reusable launchers.

https://europeanspaceflight.com/the-exploration-company-begin-cnes-backed-rocket-engine-development/

Quote
The Exploration Company has begun work on a reusable methane-powered staged combustion rocket engine that will be capable of producing approximately 200 tonnes of thrust. The endeavour is being co-financed by the French space agency CNES.

Founded in 2021, The Exploration Company has been developing a modular, reusable spacecraft called Nyx. The company is expected to propose a variant of this vehicle as part of the European Space Agency’s LEO Cargo Return Service initiative. With the announcement that the company will be developing a methane-powered high-thrust engine, it appears to be broadening its product offering.

The Exploration Company does, however, already have experience with the development of methane-powered reusable rocket engines. The company is currently developing an engine that will be used to power Nyx Moon, a variant of its reusable spacecraft that will be capable of delivering cargo and, eventually, maybe even crew to lunar orbit and the surface of the Moon. In November, the company completed the second test campaign of the engine’s thrust chamber. Over a series of eight tests, the engine was fired for a total of 560 seconds. The testing was performed at DLR’s test facility in Lampoldshausen.

According to L’Usine nouvelle reporting, the company is currently putting together a small team of propulsion systems experts to begin work on the engine, which it’s calling Typhoon. Teams involved in the project will be based in Bordeaux, Munich, and a soon-to-be-opened Turin office. In other words, France, Germany, and Italy, which are the three countries that have traditionally made the largest investments in European Space Agency launch vehicle programmes. This certainly appears to be the company setting itself up to be the beneficiary of ESA funding following the 2025 ministerial council meeting, utilizing the agency’s often criticized geo-return policy to its advantage.

In addition to its own capacity, The Exploration Company plans to call on industrial partners in the coming months to join the initiative. According to reporting, the undisclosed amount received from CNES will be utilized entirely for the project’s operations in France. Work to be done in Italy and Germany will be financed from The Exploration Company’s own coffers.

The company currently expects its Typhoon engine to be operational by 2030. With a similar performance to the SpaceX Raptor that will power the US-based company’s Starship vehicle, Tyhoon has the potential to offer Europe a new class of launch vehicles. However, it could also be used to power a partially reusable Ariane 64 equivalent heavy launcher. An engine enabling this kind of flexibility is not an idea that only CNES and The Exploration Company have broached recently.

In early December, ESA published a call for proposals for the development of a very high-thrust rocket engine that could be utilized aboard future heavy-lift launch vehicles. The project aims to develop an engine capable of generating at least 250 tonnes of thrust.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2024 12:34 pm by Mamut »

 

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