European Space Agency subsidies intended to offset high fixed costs incurred by the Arianespace commercial launch consortium could be unnecessary by decade’s end if ESA members agree to invest a little over €1 billion ($1.3 billion) to upgrade the Ariane 5 rocket, according to Astrium Chief Executive Francois Auque.
France is pressing for development of a successor rocket, having already anted-up close to €250 million in public bond money for early definition and design studies of a next-generation launch vehicle (NGL).“We could do both the Ariane 5 ME and the [NGL],” says Yannick d’Escatha, head of the French space agency CNES. “But we would have to spend twice the money.”
France and Germany have agreed to establish two working groups to resolve their differences over the future of the Ariane 5 rocket and Europe’s role in the international space station. Both groups are scheduled to reach their conclusions by June 30, in time to inform French and German positions before a November conference of ministers from the 19-nation European Space Agency (ESA). The conference, held every three or four years, sets Europe’s medium-term space budget and policy direction.
Are the solid rocket boosters for Ariane 5 ME unchanged from Ariane 5 ECA and ES? (And ... are these the largest solid rocket motors used by any currently-flying launch system?)
The ME upper stage, instead, not only gives much better GTO capability, but enables direct GSO insertion, since it supports multiple starts. And it gives just enough performance to make dual manifesting easier.
I've found this comment on Nicolas PILLET site Ariane 5 article, that on the 62nd International Astronautical Congress, Yuzhnoye proposed a Zenit based LRB for the Ariane 5 ECA. They proposed an RP-1 engine, the RD-810 (1,815kN thrust), that would have an isp of 335s in vacuum. Using four of those engines per booster they would have similar performance to the RD-171M. This would give 14tn to GTO for ECA. I guess an ECB with that boosters would have something like 18tn to GTO. I wonder how serious was this proposal.
Yuzhnoye designed the Vega's AVUM. But now ESA is trying to replace it.
Ariane 5 embodies the strategic desire of Europe (well, France and Germany) to demonstrate its capability of autonomous access to space.
[...]The German aerospace agency DLR has come with the idea to replace the Yuzhnoye-supplied engine (and tanks and plumbing) with a European engine: project VENUS: VEga New Upper Stage.
Quote from: woods170 on 02/27/2012 09:58 am[...]The German aerospace agency DLR has come with the idea to replace the Yuzhnoye-supplied engine (and tanks and plumbing) with a European engine: project VENUS: VEga New Upper Stage.I thought the improvement was the Lyra program and the idea was to increase the size of the first and second stages (to 100tonnes and 28tonnes) and have just a Lox/light HC third stage. Or this are separate programs?
ESA Expresses Interest in NASA Facility To Test Ariane 5 UpgradeThe European Space Agency (ESA) is considering paying a multimillion-dollar repair bill for NASA’s B-2 Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility in Sandusky, Ohio, so that the upper stage for the possible successor to Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket can be tested there. The B-2 Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility is part of Plum Brook Station, a campus about 80 kilometers west of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. ESA wants to use the facility to test the upper stage for its Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (ME) rocket, one of two options Europe is considering for its next satellite launcher. However, the B-2 building needs to have its steam ejection system fixed so it can simulate high-altitude conditions needed for the ESA test.
Astrium Awarded Contract for Continued Ariane 5 ME DevelopmentAstrium Space Transportation will pursue development of an upgraded Ariane 5 launch vehicle under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) valued at 112 million euros ($150 million), Astrium announced April 10. The contract covers work on the Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution, or Ariane 5 ME, program that ESA governments partially approved in late 2008.
Huh? I thought upper stage tests for Vinci had been underway for some time in Lampoldshausen. I read some papers about the design of their own steam ejector system.
Quote from: mmeijeri on 04/07/2012 10:29 amHuh? I thought upper stage tests for Vinci had been underway for some time in Lampoldshausen. I read some papers about the design of their own steam ejector system.These are tests on engine level w/o stage (see http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9314.0;all for some info about the steam generators).