SALTO project will advance forward Europe’s first reusable rocket – Technology Org

Funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme, the SALTO project will accelerate the development of the first reusable launchers in Europe. The project’s consortium brings together Europe’s expertise of the major groups, research institutes, innovative start-ups and SMEs to reach the next stage of the development of Europe’s first reusable rocket.

Image credit: Nicolas Halftermeyer via, CC BY-SA 3.0

The SALTO project is coordinated by ArianeGroup, selected by the European Commission following a call for project in the framework of Horizon Europe. It started in December 2022 and will be testing vertical landing from a reusable launcher stage prototype. The SALTO project aims to validate the landing phase, which is particularly complex but essential in order to be able to recover a launcher. Two test campaigns of the Themis reusable launcher stage prototype will be conducted in Kiruna, Sweden. During the vertical hop tests the launcher will be lifted up to 30 – 250 meters high, using Prometheus® reusable engine demonstrator.

Themis is a European Space Agency (ESA) programme, lead by ArianeGroup. Eight ESA Member States are participating in the programme: France, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Netherlands, Poland and Hungary. SALTO enables perfectly synchronized acceleration of the two ESA programs Themis reusable stage and Prometheus® reusable engine for which ArianeGroup is lead contractor.

The SALTO project and the foreseen tests are complementary and coherent with ESA’s Themis reusable stage programme. These developments are the key technological building blocks for the next generation of reusable European launchers that aim to reduce significantly the costs of space launches when compared with the current European rocket fleet. As a result, it will reinforce the European Union’s strategic autonomy and competitiveness and, will contribute to reducing the environmental footprint from space launches.

About the SALTO project

The SALTO project will test vertical landing by a reusable launcher stage prototype within the next three years, with a budget of 39 million euros. SALTO stands for “reuSable strategic space Launcher Technologies & Operations”. The project’s consortium involves 25 partners from 12 countries, including:

  • Industrial firms: ArianeGroup SAS, ArianeGroup GmbH, MT Aerospace AG, Safran Data Systems, Safran Electronics & Defense, Avio SpA, Sabca, Thales Alenia Space Belgium SA, GTD Sistemas de Informacion SA, GMV Aerospace and Defense SA, Deimos Engineering and Systems SLU , Sener TAFS SAU, Swedish Space Corporation, Amorim Cork Composites SA,
  • Research institutes: DLR Institute, CNES, ONERA, IRT Jules Verne, INCAS,
  • Start-ups and SMEs: ID-Services, Shark Robotics SARL, GLEelectronic s.r.o., SIA WIT Berry,
  • Realtime Technologies Ltd, SpaceForest sp. z oo

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe program under grant agreement No. 101082007.

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