Ethics Hotline Contact

ESA entrusts a consortium led by Sener to define the architecture of future European space launchers



The European Space Agency (ESA) has tasked a consortium led by Sener with helping to define the architecture of future European space launch systems. In addition to Sener (through its subsidiary Sener Aerospace and Defence), the consortium is formed by other leading companies in the European space sector and research institutes, such as Beyond Gravity, CIRA, Dassault Aviation, Elecnor Deimos, Pangea Aerospace, Thales Alenia Space Italia and the Von Karman Institute.

Specifically, the consortium will conduct the feasibility study and the proofs of concept for the development of a future European family of reusable launchers that are capable of carrying both payloads and astronauts, based on an innovative modular concept that encourages reuse while reducing the environmental impact in the form of space debris and emissions. These launch systems will rely on liquid fuel engines to propel the two stages that will make up these launchers, a concept called R-TSTO, meaning the launchers will consist of two stages, both reusable.

In addition to the architecture of these systems, the consortium will help define operational procedures and the associated enabling technologies, together with new program management structures. It will thus help provide a consolidated vision for the long-term offer of launch services, maximizing the coverage of mission scenarios and use cases.

The consortium will follow ESA’s roadmap for space transport for the coming decades (Vision 2030+) and provide a specialized, agnostic, and complementary perspective with respect to the technology available on the market, offering an independent approach with respect to other pre-existing European solutions. It will therefore help move further one of the strategic pillars of ESA: strengthen Europe’s technological independence and sovereignty in accessing space, and its global competitiveness in the space industry.

José Julián Echevarría, Managing Director of Aerospace and Defence at Sener, stresses that “historically, Europe has played an important role in launch systems, with iconic launchers like the Ariane and Vega families. Today, the sector requires these systems to evolve, and with it, Europe has an opportunity to continue contributing significantly to the advancement of the space industry, while also gaining capabilities that guarantee its technological sovereignty and independence in access to space and its global competitiveness. We are proud to provide our technical capabilities and that of our partners to achieve it.”

Share it:

image/svg+xml image/svg+xml image/svg+xml image/svg+xml