Author Topic: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)  (Read 21312 times)

Offline hektor

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Maļa Space

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What will the MaiaSpace program consist of? If the minister has not given any details, we can outline it. The project will be entrusted to a subsidiary, called MaiaSpace, whose capital could, according to our information, be open to other players. The launcher itself will be based on the reusable Themis stage demonstrator, which will be equipped with the all-new low-cost, reusable Prometheus motor. The program, developed by ArianeGroup in Vernon with the support of CNES, is already well advanced: the first Prometheus engine has already been assembled. The first tests of the liquid oxygen and methane tanks have started in recent days in Vernon.

The next step will be the ground tests of Prometheus, still on the Normandy site, on a version of Themis called Themis 0. A version of Themis with one engine (Themis 1) must then perform take-off and landing tests in Kiruna (Sweden ) in 2023. Tests of a more powerful version with three engines (Themis 3) are planned at Kourou in 2024.
« Last Edit: 12/06/2021 04:10 pm by hektor »

Offline hektor

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« Last Edit: 12/06/2021 06:24 pm by hektor »

Offline hektor

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #2 on: 12/06/2021 06:25 pm »
 
« Last Edit: 12/06/2021 06:25 pm by hektor »

Offline gosnold

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #3 on: 12/06/2021 08:13 pm »
I think that Themis, the full version with 3 Prometheus engines. They say Prometheus is also used for Maia but it would only be 1 engine (that already 100t of thrust)
Specs of Maia are 500kg to 1t in LEO: https://twitter.com/stromgade/status/1467961089388433410

Offline Syl35

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #4 on: 12/07/2021 01:10 pm »
In fact, Maia is not the rocket name but the name of the company that is being created to make this new reusable rocket.

Offline hektor

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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #6 on: 12/07/2021 03:37 pm »
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/12/france-seeks-to-build-reusable-rocket-make-up-for-bad-choices-in-the-past/

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Concerned about SpaceX, France to accelerate reusable rocket plans

"It's a real break from French strategy, and clearly inspired by the USA."

The new plan calls for the large, France-based rocket firm ArianeGroup to develop a new small-lift rocket called Maļa by the year 2026. This is four years ahead of a timeline previously set by the European Space Agency for the development of a significantly larger, reusable rocket.

Although the technical details are sparse, Maļa will not be Europe's "Falcon 9." It will have a lift capacity of up to 1 metric ton to low Earth orbit and be powered by a reusable Prometheus rocket engine, which is fueled by methane and liquid oxygen. This engine, which remains in the preliminary stages of development, has a thrust comparable to a single Merlin 1D rocket engine, which powers SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. But since there are nine engines on the SpaceX rocket, it can lift more than 15 times as much as the proposed Maļa in fully reusable mode.
>
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Offline Oli

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #7 on: 12/07/2021 03:52 pm »
A partially reusable small launcher by 2026? Exciting stuff.

 ::)

Offline Blackjax

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #8 on: 12/07/2021 03:53 pm »
Concerned about SpaceX, France to accelerate reusable rocket plans

There is one point in particular that stands out to me in the article.  To summarize and paraphrase:

"This has no substantial hope of competing effectively against the Falcon 9, much less the starship, but it does seem to have the potential to damage efforts across europe to get other small launchers up and running."

BTW, everything I've seen about it refers to it a little vaguely as a 'plan', I haven't seen anything mentioning it as an approved and fully funded plan.  Anyone see anything concrete on the actual funding?  No bucks, no buck rogers.

Offline hektor

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #9 on: 12/07/2021 04:18 pm »
This is financed by a 30 B€ French government plan : France 2030 (30 B€ for 2030  ;D)

France 2030 un plan d'investissement pour la france de demain (sorry in French)

In this plan 1.5 B€ go to space. A significant chunk of these 1.5 B€ will be channeled towards Maļa.

The goal is

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Prendre toute notre part ą la nouvelle aventure spatiale.

''Take our full part in the new space adventure.''

which does not mean much.

This is a decision approved at high level (Macron I guess).


By the way it would be the first French orbital launcher since Diamant BP4 in 1975.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2021 04:41 pm by hektor »

Online ZachF

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #10 on: 12/07/2021 11:18 pm »
Concerned about SpaceX, France to accelerate reusable rocket plans

There is one point in particular that stands out to me in the article.  To summarize and paraphrase:

"This has no substantial hope of competing effectively against the Falcon 9, much less the starship, but it does seem to have the potential to damage efforts across europe to get other small launchers up and running."

BTW, everything I've seen about it refers to it a little vaguely as a 'plan', I haven't seen anything mentioning it as an approved and fully funded plan.  Anyone see anything concrete on the actual funding?  No bucks, no buck rogers.

Reading between the lines, with this and Stephane Israel continually asking for guaranteed launches, the order book for Ariane 6 must be pretty bad.
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Offline Asteroza

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #11 on: 12/08/2021 01:30 am »
So with the noted characteristics of the prometheus engine as is, will this be doing a HyperSlam into the trapeze catcher frame currently being envisioned for Themis?

Offline su27k

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #12 on: 12/08/2021 04:02 am »
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/12/france-seeks-to-build-reusable-rocket-make-up-for-bad-choices-in-the-past/

For me the most interesting part of the article is this:

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Over the last five years Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom (which is a member of the European Space Agency but not the European Union) have started to foster the development of micro-launch companies that are building rockets capable of lifting several hundred kilograms to low-Earth orbit—a bit less than the Maļa rocket aspires to do.

<snip>

France has largely been left out of this new commercial launch industry, and Paris-based ArianeGroup probably would not mind seeing the competition stamped out. In other words, France could be worried enough about losing its launch leadership in Europe.

Giving a large development contract to ArianeGroup for the Maļa rocket would be one way to kill off the competition in other countries before it gets going. Giving money to ArianeGroup now is a little bit like the United States funding United Launch Alliance to build a reusable rocket 15 years ago, which would have substantially harmed or perhaps even killed SpaceX during its formative years.

Is this really to compete against SpaceX or compete against other smallsat launchers in Europe?

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #13 on: 12/08/2021 07:15 am »
Is this really to compete against SpaceX or compete against other smallsat launchers in Europe?

Well, a fair bit of Ariane 6 worksharing meant not as much work being done within France. In the face of the relentless march of SpaceX, some people may have felt the only company/country that can do it all alone is ArianeGroup, thus France. I guess Germany/DLR isn't up to building a full rocket on their own, and the italians do a lot of SRM work but haven't really brought it all together themselves yet (focusing on value added manufacturing instead). There is something to be said that the necessary end-to-end expertise probably exists within France alone due to ongoing need to support french SLBM's and general ESA support activities (though whether that translates to startup class speeds and costs is open to debate).

None of the supposed EU startups are up to that weight class, and the EU market itself will have a hard time sustaining even one small/medium launcher (when faced with the small number of EU customers and those customers probably launching with cheap and proven launchers over in the USA).

Offline Oli

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #14 on: 12/08/2021 10:55 am »
Once they have Prometheus, they could "easily" make a Methalox Falcon 9 (i.e. Ariane Next).

Why even go with this 3.5m diameter Themis prototype?

Stinks of politics.

Offline hektor

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #15 on: 12/08/2021 11:02 am »
They do not want to kill Ariane 6 right away.

Online ZachF

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #16 on: 12/08/2021 12:56 pm »
They do not want to kill Ariane 6 right away.

Ariane 6 is basically already dead.
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Offline Welsh Dragon

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #17 on: 12/08/2021 01:33 pm »
They do not want to kill Ariane 6 right away.

Ariane 6 is basically already dead.
Nonsense. There is no way ESA will give up independent access to space. Commercially dead? Sure.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #18 on: 12/09/2021 03:24 pm »
What I find most hilarious; is the fact that ArianeGroup is an European company, not a France company.
The GTO launch orders for Ariane 6 show it isn't commercially dead at all. It hasn't even launched jet.
But France politicians don't seem to realize that they are harming their launch industry by demanding the follow-on system before the maiden launch of Ariane 6.
The capability of the Maia launcher looks equal to RFA One and Spectrum from ISAR Aerospace. It should only use one Prometheus engine. They are late to the game and propose a less optimal configuration for reuse.
The engine development should happen first. Better develop Maia into a Rocketlab Neutron first stage or Methane Falcon9.
I wouldn't be surprised if the EU blocks this, because France is subsidizing one company, and by doing so, is disrupting the European market. Any one discovered the 3th 10mln micro-launcher grand jet?
« Last Edit: 12/09/2021 03:48 pm by Rik ISS-fan »

Online Closer to Space

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Re: Maļa Space - ArianeGroup reusable launcher (2026)
« Reply #19 on: 12/09/2021 06:00 pm »
What I find most hilarious; is the fact that ArianeGroup is an European company, not a France company.

Arianegroup is 50% owned by Safran, which is a French company, and 50% by Airbus, which is also majority French. The headquarters and the majority of the facilities are in France.

If Arianegroup was really European, then the Germans would never have created Eurockot for example...

And by the way, Maļa Space is a simple subsidiary of Arianegroup.

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