Barcelona, 14 February 2018 – In the frame of the Future Launchers Preparatory Program (FLPP), the European Space Agency (ESA) has selected five micro launchers. Among them is Zero 2 Infinity’s (Z2I) unique solution, Bloostar, proposed in a joint consortium study with OHB’s MT Aerospace. The contract has been awarded to and will be performed by Zero 2 Infinity Deutschland GmbH, based in Munich, Germany.
With Bloostar, Zero 2 Infinity is developing the most cost efficient micro launcher proposed in the market and offers tremendous advantages across the board for its customers. In addition to a very competitive price, Bloostar will offer more volume for the customers’ payload and a smoother ride.
Z2I’s launcher, Bloostar, is carried by a Near Space balloon to an altitude above 20 km, where it separates from the balloon and blasts off to orbital speeds. This three-stage vehicle uses liquid methane and oxygen in inexpensive pressure-fed engines.
Launching a rocket above 99% of the mass of the atmosphere, where the aerodynamic resistance is almost nonexistent, yields several significant advantages compared to standard ground or aircraft-based launchers. Among them: lower drag losses, lower gravity losses, nozzles working at optimum performance, and vibrations by a factor of 10, thus benefiting from significant mass savings.
Zero 2 Infinity has recently partnered with Dassault Systèmes in order to apply its 3DExperience Platform in Bloostar’s development. More recently, an agreement was also signed with INDRA in order to exploit synergies between both company technologies.
The FLPP is a key program to implement the European strategy for accessing Space, as it oversees the studies and research that is carried on to foster new technologies. The FLPP main objective is to identify the competences and technologies to develop a reusable launcher with reduced costs. Key technological areas include: lightweight systems and robust structures, orbit injection strategies, green launch systems, reusability, etc.
You can read the ESA article here.