Projects are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
- Contribute to EU Green Deal objective through the reduction of the environmental impact of space transportation and to be prepared for the upcoming REACH regulations, especially with respect to the use of hydrazine and its derivatives, focussing on commercial market as a driver for business growth.
- Contribute to expand commercial space transportation offer and services with new space transportation solutions. The objective is to contribute to double the accessible new space transportation service market to European industry by 2030.
- Design and performance studies as well as business cases (demonstration of economical viability).
- Matured technologies up to TRL5-6 including functional and qualification test on ground.
These outcomes will contribute to enhance the sector competitiveness, in line with the Expected Impact of the destination.
There are emerging opportunities in space transportation that are not yet seized by European actors characterised by new uses of space (e.g. small satellites, larger constellations and payload recovery) new destinations (e.g. direct GEO, re-entry from LEO).
The expected proposed activities should contribute to the maturation up to TRL5-6 of enabling new technologies and subsystems (including common building blocks) in the field of green propulsion, micro launchers and associated launch facilities, kick stage, orbital propulsion and distancing, attitude and landing, re-entry solutions, smart satellite deployment systems/dispensers, for space transportation including new routes up to Lunar orbit or surface.
The maturation could go up to subsystem and system level and may include one or several of the following areas:
- “low thrust” green and low cost propellant functional propulsion systems and vehicle system aspects of existing propulsion systems for use of green propellants,
- Green engine, attitude control systems (RACS), thruster, ignition, fluid control equipment, propellant tank,
- Actuation systems and pyrotechnic systems, light weight structure concepts for micro launchers and re-entry vehicles,
- Smart and flexible dispenser for multi-satellites, constellations, and payloads launch solutions,
- Advanced avionics, attitude orbital module and re-entry module, descent and landing,
- GNC, autonomous localization and termination, modern TM/TC data handling, low-cost and modular avionics, automated rendezvous, capturing and spacecraft management technologies, avionics and test-bed.
All the activities should be complementary and coherent with the ESA on-going or future activities in particular those decided at the last ESA Ministerial held in November 2019. Proposals should provide all IPR dependencies and dependencies with other on-going activities, and detail the implementation, the reporting and the organisational as well as steering measures that will be taken to ensure that the proposed activities can be implemented and can achieve all the expected outcomes within the project schedule and budget.
16 February 2022