Herschel and Planck launch

What applications and missions does Propulsion and Aerothermodynamics enable?

Its research provides practical support and data for the establishment of engineering standards all across the field of space vehicles. That includes the ongoing evolution of the Ariane 5 launcher and re-entry techniques needed for the Intermediate Xploration Vehicle (IXV) and Advanced Re-entry Vehicle (ARV).

Air-breathing engine technologies are also being applied to ESA's Long-term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies (LAPCAT) hypersonic aircraft research project, backed by the European Commission.

Beyond the atmosphere, novel micro-thruster technologies are enabling future missions which require extreme positioning control such as the formation-flying Proba-3 constellation, the Darwin planet hunting telescope flotilla and the LISA gravity-wave detecting trio of spacecraft.

Last update: 29 September 2009

Copyright 2000 - 2015 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.