Atmospheric Reentry Experimental Spaceplane

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Atmospheric Reentry Experimental Spaceplane (ARES) is a robotic spaceplane concept tested by France. A prototype was flown once in 2009 and then the project merged with the French Dassault Aviation VEHRA programme to produce a concept called Dassault Ares Spaceplane.


The initial concept study was produced by Aerospatiale in 1998, called Atmospheric Reentry Demonstrator (ARD). ARES envisioned a delta wing spaceplane with a mass of 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) and a wingspan of 3.5 m (11 ft).[1] Aerodynamic studies in wind tunnels were performed between 2005 and 2009 when engineers tested some phases of the reentry trajectory at several Mach numbers and angles of attack. The results obtained characterized the drag, lift, and pitching moment coefficients as functions of the angle of attack and Reynolds number.[2][3][4]

A prototype was launched once for a sub-orbital flight on 28 October 2009,[1] and then the ARES design was merged with the Dassault VEHRA project to produce a single French proposal, called Dassault Ares Spaceplane, which was proposed to the Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle technology demonstrator of the ESA Future Launchers Preparatory Programme.[1][5] This was to be a 2,000 kg (4,400 lb) reusable winged rocket-powered atmospheric demonstrator capable of reaching speeds of Mach 4 to 10 and was aimed at building up experience between 2003-2007 in reuse operations and high-speed atmospheric flight for landing on a runway.[5]

After reviewing several European submissions, ESA officials chose in 2010 an Italian design now known as the Space Rider, which is now in development and expected to be dropped from a balloon in 2019 and will have a first flight atop a Vega-C rocket in 2020 or 2021.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c ARES- French Spaceplane. Mark Wade, Astronautix. Accessed on 21 December 2018.
  3. ^ Kharitonov A.M., Zvegintsev V.I., Brodetsky M.D., Mazhul I.I, Muylaert J.M., Kordulla W., Paulat J.C., Aerodynamic investigation of aerospace vehicles in the new hypersonic wind tunnel AT-303 in ITAM, Proc. 4th Int. Symp. on Atmospheric Re-Entry Vehicles and Systems, March 21–23, 2005, Arcachon, France.
  4. ^ Adamov N.P., Kharitonov A.M., Mazhul I.I., Zvegintsev V.I., Paulat J.-C. Total aerogasdynamic characteristics of the ARES aerospace demonstrator, Proc. 3rd European Conf. for Aerospace Sciences 6–9 July 2009.
  5. ^ a b EXTV: Dassault Ares Spaceplane. Mark Wade , Astronautix. Accessed on 21 December 2018.
  6. ^ "ESA aims to privatize Space Rider unmanned spaceplane by 2025 -". 22 June 2017.

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