The SART (Space Launcher Systems Analysis) group is responsible within DLR for the study and the development of new proposals for expendable launch vehicles. While the VENUS (Vega New Upper Stage) project which ended in June 2011, addressed small launchers, the NGL (Next Generation Launcher) and Ariane 6 studies considered medium class launch vehicles. An advanced TSTO (two stages to orbit) launch vehicle considered as an evolution of the Vega launch vehicle has also been investigated.
Sketches of different medium size launcher options with solid rocket first stage and cryogenic upper stage
Recent expendable launch vehicle concepts studied by the SART team:
Note that all launcher concepts presented on this page are under investigation to obtain a better understanding of futer ELV options. For none of the launchers, even the most promising ones, currently a development decision is implicated.