Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation, as a member of the winning consortium, will implement a project for the European Space Agency, which aims to develop and test a rocket engine demonstrator with an aerospike nozzle for planetary landers.

As part of the project, an assessment of conceptual solutions (both existing and own – developed as part of this project) of rocket propulsion systems with aerospike nozzle will be carried out regarding the possibility of its utilization to planetary landers.

Particular attention will be paid to ensuring sufficiently efficient cooling of the most thermally loaded structure elements and the possibility of changing the thrust over time. The prepared concepts will also be assessed in terms of feasibility and implementation costs.

Based on the concept that best meets the requirements, a detailed design of a demonstrator powered by liquid oxygen and liquid methane with a thrust of 5-6kN will be developed. The demonstrator will eventually be built and tested at the German Aerospace Center DLR in order to verify its operating parameters.

The ESA project will be implemented in the consortium: TU Dresden (leader), FhG IWU, FhG ILT, DLR and Łukasiewicz – Institute of Aviation.


The Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation is one of the most modern research facilities in Europe, with traditions dating back to 1926. The Institute closely cooperates with global tycoons of the aviation industry, such as: Boeing, GE, Airbus, Pratt & Whitney, and institutions from the space industry, including the European Space Agency. Strategic research areas of the Institute are aviation, space and unmanned technologies. It also provides research and services for domestic and foreign industries in the field of materials, composite, additive, remote sensing, energy and oil&gas technologies. More: ilot.lukasiewicz.gov.pl/en/

The Łukasiewicz Research Network offers businesses attractive, broad and competitive technological solutions. Łukasiewicz provides a unique “challenge system” powered by a group of 4,500 scientists, who take up a business challenge and present the entrepreneur with potential solutions. At the same time, it provides access to cutting-edge capabilities and unique scientific infrastructure in the country. Most importantly – the entrepreneur does not bear the cost of preparing the conception of the research works. Łukasiewicz conveniently meets the expectations of the business. The entrepreneur can contact Łukasiewicz through an online form on our website https://lukasiewicz.gov.pl/en/business/ but also directly in over 50 locations of Łukasiewicz Institutes and their branches throughout Poland. Each site provides the same, high quality, product or service. Łukasiewicz focused on research areas such as: Health, Smart and Clean Mobility, Digital Transformation and Green and Low-emission Economy.

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