ESA’s programme dedicated to the preparation of this future, the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP), began in 2003. It oversees system studies and research activities to foster new technologies capable of delivering high performance and reliability coupled with reduced operational costs.
Its major fields of activity include:
- Developing various launch vehicle system concepts and identifying the technologies required to make them possible. This activity will form the basis of the crucial decision to be made on the characteristics and design of Europe’s Next Generation Launcher (NGL).
- Developing the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) – This test will flight-qualify several key reentry systems and technologies.
As a baseline, countries participating in the different FLPP periods: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and possibly UK, Poland.
The following elements are identified, as part of additional activities of FLPP Period-3 SDT extension:
- Launcher evolutions phase 0/A-B.
- Stage assesment.
- Injection and De-orbiting.
- Reusable First Stage.
- Clean Space – key subject for future launch systems:
- Active debris removal.
- Demise Observation Capsule.
esc participated in FLPP Industry Day held in Paris on 11.06.2014.