The writer is rather long winded.

Sounds like CNES is planning a Grass-hopper program.

https://satelliteobservation.net/201...sable-rockets/

CNES director of launchers talks reusable rockets

The French Air & Space academy, a professional association/think tank, organized a conference about reusable launchers last week in Paris. There were two guest speakers:

Xavier Pasco, head of the Foundation for Strategic Research, an official think tank that works with Frances Ministry of Defence. It is the French equivalent of the RAND Corporation in the USA, although with much less funding and a focus more on policy issues than on engineering problems.
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Jean-Marc Astorg, the head of CNES launch vehicles directorate. He spent his whole career at the directorate, working on Vega, Ariane 5 ECA, Soyuz in French Guyana, and was promoted director of launchers in 2015.
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The whole slide deck is just below:
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To give a quick overview of worldwide development efforts, the Chinese have a space program that makes us pale with envy, on all fronts, launchers and satellites. They have announced they are developing a reusable launcher too: Long March 8-R, to be ready for 2028.

In the USA, we should not oppose public and private space efforts: SpaceX is very much a creation of NASA thanks to technical and financial aid.
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Prometheus can be used in a new architecture which we call Ariane Next. It will have 7 such engines on the first stage and 1 on the second stage, and can be used in expendable or reusable mode, allowing to experiment reuse easily. The objective is to learn by testing, which is not a European speciality.





Before Ariane next, we have a step by step approach, first with Callisto. For this demonstrator of first stage reuse, we had no reusable engine in Europe so we partnered with the Japanese. The we will move on to the larger-scale Themis demonstrator with Prometheus engines. The concept is still in definition phase.



Ultimately, we will have to do a choice between an evolution of Ariane 6 and a brand new launcher, to be ready in 2028-2030.

Q&A
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