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.
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.>
Concerned about SpaceX, France to accelerate reusable rocket plans
Prendre toute notre part ą la nouvelle aventure spatiale.
Quote from: hektor on 12/07/2021 02:25 pmConcerned about SpaceX, France to accelerate reusable rocket plansThere 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.
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 orbita 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?
They do not want to kill Ariane 6 right away.
Quote from: hektor on 12/08/2021 11:02 amThey do not want to kill Ariane 6 right away.Ariane 6 is basically already dead.
What I find most hilarious; is the fact that ArianeGroup is an European company, not a France company.