Europe to unveil launcher developer at Berlin

This story is sourced from Flight International
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The formation of new European launcher developer NGL Prime, which will be the main contractor for the European Space Agency’s future launcher preparatory programme’s second phase (FLPP 2), will be announced at the Berlin air show next week.

The company is a joint venture between EADS and Finmeccanica, based in Turin, and was legally created by its shareholders on 15 March. FLPP 2 lasts from this year to 2009 and includes expendable launch vehicle system concept studies, aluminium lithium cryogenic tank development, upper-stage liquid engine propulsion work, and the start of the full Phase B for ESA’s re-entry demonstrator, the Intermediate Experimental Vehicle.

“The prime contractor for most of the [FLPP 2] activities will be the newly created NGL Prime,” says ESA launcher directorate future launcher preparatory programme manager Juergen Ackermann. Vinci engine activities, which were to be part of the cancelled Ariane Consolidation and Evolution Programme, are now under FLPP 2’s expander cycle demonstrator, but these will be managed by Snecma.

FLPP Period One, which ends in 2007, is carrying out system studies on possible future space transport architectures, in-flight experimentation, rocket propulsion, materials and structures, aero­thermodynamics and vehicle health management systems.