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Clemessy coordinates the Eu-BEST consortium, to facilitate access to space in Europe

Eu-BEST: interoperable ground means to facilitate access to space in Europe.

Horizon Europe, the European funding program dedicated to research and innovation, recently selected the European Bench for Engine and Stage Testing (Eu-BEST) project to be funded to the value of 5M euros.

Coordinated by Clemessy, Eu-BEST is supported by a consortium of key players in the European space industry. The common ambition of the seven companies involved in this project is to develop a network of interoperable ground means, common to several launchers, with the aim of facilitating access to space while reducing costs (CAPEX and OPEX). The concept is based on the development and sale of generic services dedicated to the test of launchers engines and stages.

The Eu-BEST project officially started on 1st November 2023. It is the result of the construction of a consortium including EES-Clemessy, Spacedreams, OHB Digital Connect, the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), Pangea Aerospace, SUAS Aerospace and Aeroports de Catalunya. The main objective is to prove the technical and economic viability of the concept of interoperable, modular and mobile test systems.
Through this project, the teams aim to revolutionize the ground segment, based on the sale of generic services. The expected performance is to be able to carry out 200 tests per year, at a target price of around 25 000 euros (propellants excluded), for engines of up to 500kN thrust.
The vision shared by the consortium is that of a paradigm where different specimens can be tested on the same infrastructure at different stages in their life cycle (qualification, production, reuse). The very nature of the concept will enable this model to be disseminated and exported to other sites, thereby creating a genuine European network of ground facilities dedicated to launchers. This vision has a name: Eu-BEST.
Our consortium brings together several European NewSpace companies and established space industry leaders. The complementary nature of our skills means that we can cover all the expertise needed to ensure the success of this project, from both a technical and commercial point of view”, explains Pierre Cecchetti, Bid Manager at Clemessy.
To this end, several interest groups will be represented: the ground support industry, launch vehicle manufacturers, launch bases and institutional bodies. The aim is to “understand the needs of end users in terms of interoperability, so that we can meet them by proposing innovative technical solutions and new economic models”, he continues. "We want Eu-BEST to be part of Europe's policy of strengthening its sovereignty over access to space."
As a proof of concept, Pangea Aerospace's 300 kN ARCOS aerospike engine is to be hot-fire-tested on Eu-BEST infrastructure. This test, one of the key points of the project, will take place on the Lleida-Alguaire Aeroports de Catalunya site.

Members : EES-Clemessy (coordinator), Spacedreams, OHB Digital Connect GmbH (a subsidiary of German space and technology group OHB SE), the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (Institut d’Estudis Espacials de Catalunya), SUAS Aerospace Limited, Pangea Aerospace et Aeroports Publics de Catalunya.

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