ESA-Funded Project Consortium Investigates Reusable Upper-Stages

The ESA-funded project “Rocket Handbrake” was launched on 1st of October with the objective to investigate and design reusable upper-stage options for future European launchers. Reusable upper-stages are a key technology to enable 100% reusability of launch vehicles. The project is led by DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology (Cologne), with Elecnor DEIMOS (Spain) and POLARIS as project partners.

POLARIS is responsible for the design of the vehicle structures including wings and aerodynamic-surfaces, as well as for the design of the reentry thermal protection system. Furthermore, POLARIS will support the vehicle configuration definition process.

The project is scheduled for a duration of 18 months and includes research and design activities, as well as wind-tunnel testing of scaled models.