A new test stand for the next generation of sounding rockets, microlaunchers and reusable launchers will be constructed at the Swedish Esrange Space Center. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop this test stand at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) on 22 October 2019. Further topics of the cooperation will be the exchange of expertise and intensified collaboration in the field of engine and launcher stage testing. Among other things, the collaboration will increase the availability of engine test stands and thus make these available to more space companies.
"In SSC, we have found the right partner for the joint planning and implementation of a test stand for hybrid and liquid-fuel engines at Esrange Space Center (ESC)," says Stefan Schlechtriem, Director of the DLR Institute of Space Propulsion. "DLR Lampoldshausen is contributing its unique expertise as a European testing and development location for all liquid chemical space engines to the development of the next generation of engines," emphasises Schlechtriem, adding: "This collaboration will enable us to bring together the expertise of our institutions." With the intensified cooperation between SSC and DLR, the two partners will provide the infrastructure in Europe for the entire range of engine tests, including tests at an early stage of development, thus increasing the portfolio of testing opportunities in Europe.
"There has been a shortage of suitable test sites for early stage and short preparatory tests for the next generation of sounding rockets, microlaunchers and reusable rockets. By combining our testing capabilities with DLR, we can provide Europe with more testing capacity, thus strengthening the development of European space programmes," says Stefan Gardefjord, President and CEO of SSC.