After the success of its R&D Challenge in 2020, CNES is doubling up this year with two challenges focusing on reusable launcher upper stages and long-term disruptive technologies (e.g. new propulsion modes and launcher architectures). The challenges are open this time to firms of all sizes, notably SMEs and start-ups, research laboratories and universities, with the offer of quick funding from the agency for winning proposals and contracts that will be signed on the final Pitch Day of each challenge.
The first challenge concerning reusable launcher upper stages will kick off on 5 March, soliciting proposals for new complementary missions for upper stages, as well as concepts, architectures or technology building blocks enabling such missions.
The second challenge concerning disruptive technologies will follow in June.
The agency’s yearly R&T Call for Ideas will also be running as usual from March to May and will concern all other priority fields of innovation at the Launch Vehicles Directorate, covering reusable first stages, stages with a high propellant mass ratio, liquid oxygen-methane propulsion, autonomous range safety, launch system simplification and carbon footprint reduction.
All of these R&D initiatives will feed into Europe’s future launch systems, notably future evolutions of Ariane 6 and the launchers of tomorrow.
Learn more at https://entreprises.cnes.fr/fr/appels-projets