SPAce exploration Research for Throttleable Advanced eNgine
SPARTAN project aims at developing a throttleable propulsion technology, one of the key technologies essential for planetary soft and precision landing, by exploiting hybrid engine technology, and a new low-cost highly realistic test bed to qualify precision landing capability on ground.
Imagine a spacecraft touching down on the surface of the Moon with the aim of establish a permanent Lunar Outpost. Weather it carries robots or people, a soft and precise landing is paramount for success. The SPARTAN project develops new technologies in support of just that.
The proposed development is in line with International Space Exploration Coordination Group and ESA development guidelines, claiming the demonstration of critical technologies reducing the technology risk for a future crew Lander.
In fact, these Space Policy Planning working groups have highlighted that In the next decades, European space exploration missions are set for exotic destinations about our solar system. The surfaces of new worlds, such as the Moon, Mars and the even Jupiter's moon Europa, discovered 1610 by Galileo, may soon feel the impact of our landing spacecrafts.
The success of such future robotic missions - and eventually the success of future manned missions - is dependent of technologies that enable spacecraft to land softly and precisely under extremely difficult conditions with and without the presence of an atmosphere.
Throttleable propulsion technology presents promising features that may make such landings possible.
The SPARTAN project explores this potential, exploiting both the throttling capability of the propulsion system and the peculiar characteristics of hybrid engine technology