The idea of a reusable rocket became a solid reality thanks to SpaceX and Falcon 9. As Peter Beck of Rocket Lab has stated in the past “Anyone who doesn’t develop a reusable rocket right now has no future”. The birth of many small companies aiming in this direction is a signal for the space launch market and the big giants (like space agencies) try not to fall (too much) behind. For this too Ariane Group now has his startups dedicated to reusable rockets to telephone Maia space.
This idea comes from the foundations of Themisthe European Space Agency’s project for the development of a reusable launcher in addition to solutions such as Ariane 6 which are still relevant “not reusable”. The objective is to have a sufficiently agile corporate structure to be able to accelerate its development and catch up with the competition.
MaiaSpace and the new reusable rocket for Europe
Information on new projects startups Of Ariane Group they are still rare but updates could arrive in the coming months. As written above, it is the possibility of resuming what began to be done with Thémis by theESA and develop it independently to accelerate its implementation.
The expectation is to have a light thrower done by Maia Space who should be able to throw up to 500kg, with a more powerful version expected to weigh up to 1.5 tons in orbits between 500 km and 2000 km. The first stage will be reusable while the launch is planned towards 2026. These are characteristics inferior, for example, to those of a Falcon 9 but which could allow the development in the future of larger solutions capable of launching payloads of greater mass. The idea is to have more space launches ecological also thanks to less polluting propellants (probably based on methane or hydrogen and not RP-1/kerosene).
The first renderings of rocket Of Maia area visible on the Net these days show a design similar to that of a Falcon 9 with flaps in the upper area of the first stage and landing supports. More interesting will be the heavy launcher which is reminiscent of Falcon Heavy but instead of using three identical vectors, it uses two smaller (but still reusable) first stages as boosters. During the presentation of startupsthe managers of Ariane Group they declared “We are on the right track to accelerate Europe’s access to space, promote synergies, join forces and contribute to Europe’s leadership and sovereignty in space”.
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